My Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Guys

**Alert: Contains spoilers of the story they are in**

I'm not an otaku, but maybe I had been before I turned 17. But that was like a lifetime ago. I have to admit that before I became a bookworm (thanks to Harry Potter, I had become one), I was an anime lover. My world then revolved around these Japanese animations. The reason why I couldn't like a boy that much in the real world is because I was so hooked on these 2-dimensional fictional characters. I don't think I could find someone like them in real life for myself.

I remember myself falling in love with them. I remember the feeling having my heart torn when I know that they couldn't end up with the female protagonist of the story. I remember falling for them for the wrong reasons. I remember the ache when I wasn't seeing them in the episode for the day, the longing to see them again... for another day, two days, a week? I remember the sadness associated with seeing them... for their sorrowful past, for their spurned love and whatnots. And most of all, I remember getting "kilig" upon seeing them in an episode.

Oddly enough, their female counterparts consist mostly of orphans or someone whose family still lives but due to conspired circumstances got separated from them as a baby. If not, they're on their journey in finding their roots, of who they really are. And equally odd still, the guys here are someone with an alter ego whether he is a masked man, a man who would turn into an animal, a man in the guise of another or just plain someone whose real motives are hidden. So the trope is like: orphan girl + man in disguise = interesting love story. Without further ado, here they are:

10 Jervis Pendleton or Daddy-long-legs (Judy Abbott)

Judy Abbott is a classic 1990 anime series by TV Tokyo. Taken from the classic novel Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster, the story follows after the orphan Jerusha Abbott who was staying overdue for a year at the John Grier Home. Concerned for her welfare, her records was brought by the managers of the orphanage during a Trustees' (Sponsors) meeting. Her english teacher read one of her essay, ridiculing the orphanage with such humor that one trustee cracked up the entire time.

This trustee was known to be a misogynist who would only choose boys to be given a college scholarship. But because of the essay, the trustee decided to send her to college to enhance her writing skills provided that she would write to him a letter every month. In the anime version, Judy was just going to be in high school.

Judy was so gratified that an "old" trustee of a gentleman was giving her a chance to life that she so wanted to see him after that meeting. As the day dragged on to darkness, she ran to the courtyard to see her savior off. Her sponsor was already going for his car and it was so dark that Judy only caught a fleeting impression of the man against the glaring car headlights— mostly of tallness as his shadow spreads from where he stands, against the road, and to the wall.

Judy kept her part of the bargain, writing to him often as he's the only family she has like what a daddy must be like. As it turned out, this trustee has read all of Judy's letters that he developed feelings for her. He saw her often through a different persona by way of his niece, Julia who was Judy's dormmate on her freshman year and roommate in the remaining years. He was making impressions for Judy, to manipulate her into falling for him as Julia's uncle, Jervis Pendleton who is ahead of her by 14 years (15 years in the anime).

Now, imagine Judy's feelings upon discovering that the man she loves was her daddy-long-legs!

9 Ryota Sakamoto (Btooom)

In order to create perfection for the online role-playing bombing game Btooom, Tyrannis Corporation staged a real-life arena where players who are discarded by their own loved ones will battle to death. The arena is patterned after the game, including all the bombs and places like beach, caves, rivers

Ryota Sakamoto used to work as a program designer for Btoom. When Tyrannis Corporation had enough of his works, they laid him off. He was so passionate with Btooom that he couldn't think of any way to pass his time but play the game after failing to land another job. His mother got enough of him, paying the electric and internet bills that she chose to nomiate him on the game to death.

Clearly Ryota is an intelligent programmer, only he got addicted. Intellect? Out of the question. He has an aggressive handsome looks in the way he was drawn by the author. And for an addicted online gamer, he has an impossibly ripped body to boot! Nice. He has ways to survive the island in which other players deemed too unfair because aside from being one of the world's top gamer, he's a programmer of the game himself. But gaming is one thing, real life quite another.

What I like about him is how easy he could make friends. In a scenario where it is hard to trust someone and probably bombarded by people who are too desperate to live that they lose sound judgment in life and when anyone could be a psycopath, it's just incredible that he was able to create quite a circle of people, which includes a real psycopath for that matter. Little did he know, he deserves so much respect than what he gives himself credit for. Humility? Check! Innocence? Affirmative (unfortunately). Which I find cute for a gorgeous guy.

There's a love story here of course (in which I never gave a damn). His secret love Himiko, a girl he met online in the game is apparently included in the real-life arena. And that's where his game changed its course. It's not just a battle to save himself but a battle to protect his love.

8 Kaname Kuran (Vampire Knight)

Honestly, why can't Yuki, Zero and Kaname just live a permanent ménage à trois (household for three)? They're all vampires anyway, and that lifestyle shouldn't be a problem. Why must Yuki's heart be set for one alone when it's so clear that she loves both guys? But the author was such a romantic and a tragedist that she ended the manga that painful way. And I salute her for being so original, without falling to clichés. Besides, I also understand that a powerful vampire like Kaname has equally a huge pride. He doesn't want to share what's his. And even if he were to share his love, he wouldn't be there to bear witness.

I love Zero too, I really do. But I only need to put one person in one spot and Zero didn't make it to my top 10. As to why Kaname Kuran?

I'm a sucker for aristocracy. Why settle for anything less when you could have the most powerful of them all? And it's not that Kuran is some stupid rich person who just happens to be born from old money. He is the power of the clan himself. He was ancient. He was the most powerful in the past and he always will be. Of course, that was revealed towards the ending. So let's go back from the beginning.

In Yuki's perspective, Kaname Kuran was someone she'd always long for. He was her savior, the one who saved her from a malicious vampire when she was just a toddler in that snowy night. If it weren't for him, a mere human like her would have been dead already. For Kaname, she was always grateful... and she wanted him. Of course, she didn't understand why she has such strong feelings for him. And that's only because her memory has been altered. They both shared a past that's worth for hiding. Else, Kaname's plans won't come into fruition.

Reading the manga (the anime fell short of the story and didn't continue), I have such fickle heart. I know that Kaname is good but he has an evil side too. And he's evilness is real. It felt so real even for a drawing that in those times, I don't know how to feel anymore. I do have a soft spot for antiheroes and beautiful villains. But the way Kaname portrayed himself during those rough confused times, the feeling about him was too heavy that if I were to be empathetic with Yuki, I would look for someone for comfort. And that is where Zero comes into the picture.

Despite all that, just like Yuki, I still believe in Kaname and I accept him for who he really is. And remembering those heavy feelings, I do admit I really fell for him... and his bad side.

7 Seiji Amasawa (Whisper of the Heart)

Seiji is not from a series but from one of Studio Ghibli's animated films. Studio Ghibli producers admitted that most of the lovers created in the studio's films have one face, claiming that the girl would look the same in another film and so does the boy. They were just modified a little.

I was weighing between Howl of Howl's Moving Castle and Seiji for this spot but I was taken more with the simplicity, yet surprisingly great, of Seiji's love story than that of Howl's with nuances of the World War II. Howl and Seiji are supposed to have the same looks anyway so let's spare Seiji that and focus on the story.

The film opened with the girl getting intrigued by the name of a guy, Seiji Amasawa which keeps appearing on the borrower's cards of the books she took from the library. She then met with her friend Yuko to show her her editted lyrics of Country Roads for their upcoming graduation rites. When she realized that she left her things when they're on their way home, she went back to the bench that they both occupied earlier only to find a guy sitting in their place. The guy was reading her book. And then he looked up with that handsome face of his for which she gasped in surprise and said,
You got my book!

Since then, she always comes across with the same guy coincidentally in so many times. As it turns out later, the guy confessed,
I first noticed you a long time ago in the library. We've ran on each other a hundred times but you never noticed. I even sat across you just to get your attention. Didn't you know that? And then I checked out random books just to have my name on them. I guess that got your attention.

That was just so smooth Seiji! His being passionate with violin is just an added bonus.

6 The Bear Pianist (A Little Snow Fairy Sugar)

A Little Snow Fairy Sugar is an anime about music where fairies dwell and live through music. Each little fairy has his/her own instrument to master to become a full-fledged season fairy. So expect awesome soundtracks for this anime.

The bear pianist only has a fleeting appearance in the entire story. He only appeared twice if not thrice. While the anime is titled after Sugar, the snow fairy, it is implied that the real protagonist of the story is the orphan girl whom Sugar is looking after, Saga Bergaman. I don't know but I just saw a potential for a love story between Saga and the bear pianist.

I have to admit that I never finished the story and must therefore, not know anything much. So yes, I fell in love with a man with nothing but a bear costume when I watched the anime a decade or so ago. I didn't know then if he's just a teenager, a man in his 20s or a man old enough to be Saga's father. But I saw that he adored Saga and Saga is intrigued if not interested with him too.

The happiness I felt when the bear pianist is evident in an episode was just sublime. It's a pure and curious thing. There's just some kind of magic feeling when he communicates with his music and talks with Saga through his gestures. All I felt then was that I would love to see the face behind the bear facade. And until today, I'm still curious. So I dig the internet and found my childhood memories broken. Sure, he turned out to be a beautiful man but the anime is no romantic story.

5 Son Gohan (Dragon Ball Z)

I was 10 turning 11 when Super Saiyan Son Goku's son was introduced on tv. Finally, I had someone I could relate to! I could remember how crazy I was for him for more than a year. I fell for him hard when it was clear that there's no other way to defeat the awful monster Cell but through him. Of course he defeated Cell and he became a hero for like a year (in my time frame).

Chi-chi (his mother) was so strict in his upbringing, claiming that the only way for him to succeed in life is to study real hard so he may land a great job in the future. Gah! He's a Saiyan, damn it! This entails that while one's an alien, he must also strive hard, live normally as how inhabitants of the planet lives. So then, the striking young man that Gohan grew into always landed at the top of his class.

Because he has such a great call into saving the planet, he created an alternate persona, The Great Saiyaman in green "kimono" shirt, white trousers, red cape, flowing white head bandanna and dark sunglasses to hide his face. Because of that knack, I was even more infatuated with him through his love interest, Videl (daughter of the man who pretended to be the one who defeated Cell).

Forward to years later, he ended up in office work. He might become an executive later but he had so much potential as a Saiyan and he fell into nothing but a mere human much like the present Trunks did when a paradigm shift happened after the future Trunks traveled back in time to save the future. The good thing about it was that while the present Trunks developed into a laid-back troublemaker, something so much less than the future Trunks, the shift led to the conception of Son Gohan's younger brother, Son Goten. So much for a segue.

4 Prince Leonard / Charlie (Cinderella Monogatari)

Cinderella Monogatari is MondoTV's own version of Cinderella which was aired in Japan on 1995. It was aired in my country on 1997. I was 7 then. The prince's name is Charlie in most translations but the tv station which gained the rights to the show in my country had it better. He was named Leonard (pronounced as Le-nard).

Leonard is a devil-may-care boy who wants to do nothing more but to have fun. But what fun can he possibly have in such a boring huge castle which so happens to be his house? Play with the servants? Oh no, that's just so without manners. Besides, even his swordmaster and his best friend Alex aren't enough for his playmates. The cure to his itch is to escape the house and travel in town in the guise of a commoner. There he bumped into a fair girl in ragged clothing who was in a hurry that his apple fell. And little did he know that his heart also fell that day.

In the course of his travels, coincidentally this girl would always fell in with his misadventures. Together, they'd get through such life's little misfortunes with the occasional help of the friends they gained along the way.

There were so many "kilig" moments in the series. Of course, the ending involved the ball where Cinderella must get home before midnight, before her carriage will turn back into a pumpkin. And yes, Dat shoe.

Leonard is the epitome of an adventurer. I love guys that way. The way the anime was drawn was closer to realism, contrary to how most animes are drawn. The proportions are similar to people in real life and so were the eyes... almost. The way Leonard's gray eyes were drawn, it can be translated to deep-set in the real world. And that probably did it for me.

3 Yuki Sohma (Fruits Basket)

Fruits Basket is a tearjerker type of anime. A story set with dramatics and a far-off story about a clan being cursed in which members who are all curiously beautiful turn into animals after the Chinese zodiac when they are being hugged or felt the affection of someone who is not a member of their clan. It follows an ordinary orphan girl Tohru who got lost in the clan's forest and has no place else to stay.

The thing that sets the mood of the entire anime is the music. Ritsuko Okazaki has such a nice singing that would make your tears fall off easily. Furthermore, the background music was just too much to bear for the soul. So think about how I got so carried away with the music, with my heart in it, with a particular guy in mind.

Besides the way Yuki was drawn, at 14 (me), I loved Yuki for his calm demeanor. He was the one I was rooting for Tohru. He has such wisdom for a little mouse that I can't help myself but get awed. I would have already forseen the future have I not missed the first episode when it was aired on tv. And I would have then lightly accepted that Yuki will never be the one for Tohru. Yuki needs her but someone else needs Tohru more than he would ever need her.

The last episode was really painful to me. All those "kilig" moments with Tohru happened for nothing. Yuki will be nothing more but a good memory to her. I didn't anticipate for Yuki to fall into such. Ironically, Yuki is just a memory to me that falls in the third spot.

2 Keith Harcourt (Ashita no Nadja)

Ashita no Nadja is a story set in the late 19th century, following a 12-year-old girl into her journey in life and finding her real family. Her love interest is kind of ambiguous as twins are involved. The story might have an open ending but I'm rooting for Keith Harcourt.

Keith Harcourt must be a ripoff of Cary Elwes' swashbuckling youth. It is because it appears like Keith is a cross between Robinhood (played by Cary Elwes in Robinhood: Men in Tights on 1994) and Westley of The Princess Bride (1987). They have the same tall height, the light-colored eyes and blonde hair.

Just like Westley being The Man in Black and The Dread Pirate Robert (the fourth), Keith Harcourt also has an alter ego, The Black Rose who is also clad in all black. Sure, a pirate robs off other sea voyagers their money but The Black Rose steals money from the corrupted rich to help the oppressed poor, much like Robinhood.

I love Keith Harcourt not just because of his looks and his aspirations and his strength and his money (he's of noble birth) but also because of his intellect. His twin brother claimed that he graduated earlier in school by 4 years (whoa!). While being the Phantom Thief makes him cocky when he's with Nadja, when he meets with her in his natural self (clearly mistaken for being his twin), he has this certain deepness, painful and sorrowful feeling about him. Wouldn't you want to comfort someone like that?

I remember the confusion and the pain I felt upon discovering that the man Nadja loves actually consists of twins! It was just devastating knowing you kissed the wrong person and stuff (I know that was Nadja). And the fact that you don't know which of the twins is the wrong person to love. But one thing is clear to me though, I chose The Black Rose!

1 Uchiha Itachi (Naruto)

I don't think that there's a need for me to introduce the story of Naruto. And this is not a love story.

I loved Itachi for the wrong reasons. I have a soft spot for yummy villains and antiheroes (sadly, Demon-eyes Kyo didn't make it to my top 10). I loved him because he was a total badass, seemingly oblivious of his own clan's lives. Just like Keith Harcourt, he was also a genius graduating Jounin at the top of his class at age 13! He was part of the elite ninja force, the Anbus despite being just a kid. At age 7, he had already learned Sharingan and has the wisdom of a Hokage (President) as claimed by the 3rd Hokage himself.

He was really sinister and menacing torturing his little brother when he spared him his life. He appeared to be a psycopath who cares nothing more but what he's capable of. And so, he annihilated his whole clan, coldly killed his own father and mother just so he could achieve one of the highest form of their clan's secret technique.

When I was 16 (2006), nobody knows the real reason why Uchiha Itachi did what he did but the author. There were only speculations. When I met with other fans who shared the same fandom that is Itachi, I was stunned. Most of them then believe that Itachi was only doing a secret mission. He was a good person with the soundest judgment and the best of heart. They believe he was a hero and being a villain was just for show so he may spy on the evil ones' plans. I felt guilty then. It's as if I was the one with the sick mind. Forward to 3 years later, they were right.

I said I loved him. That's because of the wrong reasons. Now I love him for the right reasons. He is indeed a hero who sacrificed his very image, his name and his own life for the sake of his family and his country. I can't think of any other anime character who could replace him. The only bad thing I noticed of Itachi is that he only stood 5'6.5" (shorter than tiny Josh Hutcherson!). What took me was the way the author, Masashi Kishimoto drew his face. There was soooo much effort! Kishimoto has the decency to give details to his eyelashes both atop and below his eyes. He was just so beautiful upclose with such lush lashes (and yet, he's just a drawing). I got a feeling he has deep-set eyes in would-be real life.

See my proclivities? I have a thing not just merely for a beautiful man but a really intelligent one and an achiever. And I also have a penchant for deep-set eyes. And conspicuously, I have a thing for guys with certain deepness to them that I could wallow.

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