After covering my top favorites in the first and second parts of this list, I had to reach even farther down into the ol' magic hat to pull these unforgettable personalities out. In what other circumstances would a great grandmother, an invincible serial killer and a robot cat be grouped together like this? You'll only ever see them in the victory circle of my mind...
Granny Sakae from SUMMER WARS
One of the easiest traps ever generation falls into is believing that their lifestyles and their “world” are wholly incomprehensible to their elders. Look at it all holistically, though, and you’ll realize that specifics may change, but the basics will always be the same. This nonagenarian matriarch understands that all quite well. She may still use a rotary phone, she may have no idea how to turn a laptop on, but she understands the threat of a sentient computer virus better than any of the many tech whizzes buzzing around her ancestral home. An even better judge of character, she can recognize a trustworthy boyfriend in a mousy scrub, even when all her cynical children can’t or won't.
Having seen many galaxy-crushing mecha bouts and white knuckle games of cat and mouse, it says something when I count the scene where she dials up every name in her old school rolodex as one of the most powerful I’ve watched in anime.
Claire Stanfield from BACCANO!
The conclusion of BACCANO! may have been mess, but it wasn’t messy enough to diminish my fascination with this “Rail Tracer” who’s something of a puppet god with a nasty case of schizophrenia. The show dallied with metafiction enough that I was perfectly willing to take his claims of being a “real world” psychopath going on a safari in a fictional world at face value - - because that’s such a chilling concept. Imagine discovering you’re the figment of somebody’s else imagination: now imagine that somebody a homicidal maniac who likes to dress in blood and torture people by driving their faces into moving railtracks. That’s the stuff of existential nightmares.
I was seriously considering putting Ladd Russo on here, because his child-like detachment and giddy amusement about his own sadism are just as unique and attention grabbing. However, I’m pretty sure Claire would beat him a fight and, well, might makes right on this list.
Believe it or not, when I was growing up in Singapore, DORAEMON was a regular staple of my afternoon cartoon viewing. As kindergartener, at least. Oddly enough, I watching the dub - - the Mandarin dub - - yet was able to follow the loony plots without ever even knowing what the characters were saying. I haven’t watched any of this since I was six, at the oldest, so I suppose the reflex nostalgia I get from looking at this blue cat’s a bit purer than it’d be for something I’d revisited regularly. As far as children’s characters goes, a time-traveling blue cat android is just so wonderfully odd in comparison to, say, a purple dinosaur.