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As temperatures fall and the leaves start to change colors, the only thing most of us have to show for our summer vacation, besides our fading tan lines and considerably lighter wallets, are our fond memories of the best anime the season had to offer. But an anime is only as good as its leading men; fortunately, the summer had a lot to offer. Without further ado, let’s get into the top five male characters of summer.
5. Adlet Myer – Rokka no Yūsha /Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2015- September 2015
Adlet Myer is a strange man in a stranger world. The self-proclaimed “strongest man alive,” he believes he deserves to be welcomed into the order of the “Braves,” six warriors chosen by a goddess to do battle against the Demon God, an entity set on destruction. When the Braves finally gather and find a seventh in their midst, it’s up to them to figure out if one of them is actually the Demon God in disguise.
What’s great about Adlet is that, despite his delusions of grandeur and roguish nature, he is a capable warrior, if not the strongest man alive. Rather than relying on brute strength, he often utilizes intelligent tactics in the heat of battle, coming out on top despite being outmanned, or outgunned. Although not as outwardly heroic as some of his compatriots, he definitely deserves his spot in the Braves. He also refuses to give up where others might just take the hint and move on. He is charismatic, and intensely loyal, as proven by his dedication to Flamie, even in the face of betrayal.
Rokka no Yūsha Trailer 2015
4. Momonga – Overlord
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2015 – September 2015
Overlord takes place in Yggdrasil, a hugely popular MMO on its last legs. As guild leader Momonga (Japanese for flying squirrel) watches all of his friends log out to commit more fully to their lives in meat-space, he strolls down memory lane while preparing for the inevitable forced-logout as the game goes offline for good.
However, the moment he has to go back to his dull, lonely life as a single salaryman never comes, as he finds himself the only real human (well, lich) in a world populated by NPCs that he can exert his will upon. With nothing better to do, he decides to become the ruler of the new world he finds himself happily trapped in. Although his dubious first act is to convince one of his servant NPCs to fall madly in love with him, once he gets past that he really starts to make his mark.
As a lich, Momonga doesn’t share the biological needs of humans, and as a high level player, his magical abilities surpass those of almost all those around him. Although occasionally immature and selfish, he uses his power for good, especially when it comes to honoring the memory of his former guild-mates. The game world could definitely do a lot worse in terms of would-be all-powerful dictators.
TV Anime Overlord PV Vol. 1
3. Lenka Utsugi – God Eater
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2015 – Present
The near-future of God Eater is a terrifying one. Set in Japan, where some of the last vestiges of humanity struggle against giant monsters known as Aragami, the brave soldiers that battle them are known as “God Eaters.” Young military trainee Lenka joins the Fenrir Far East branch when it is discovered that his “God Arc,” a weapon created from the DNA of Aragami to battle them, can switch between blade and gun form.
Lenka is young and hungry, but has a lot to learn. In a world where success is measured by survival, lessons are often learned hard, and at the expense of your squad mates’ lives. Despite the continued brutality of the world around him, Lenka faces the psychological and physical distress that comes from battling giant gods on a daily basis, as he is shaped into the soldier his squad mates need him to be.
Throughout the course of the series, you see him grow from a misguided recruit to a soldier who truly understands the stakes of the war he is embroiled in, and the importance of his role in it.
Trailer God Eater – Anime Summer 2015
2. Youji Itami – Gate: Jietai Kare no Chinite, Kaku Tatakaeri
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2015 - Present
Itami is an easy character for otaku and anime-lovers to appreciate, because he is one of us. A portal suddenly opens in Ginza (a neighborhood in Japan’s capital city), and fantastical creatures and soldiers in Roman armor attack the civilians of Japan. Itami, a member of the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) and certifiable nerd, rises to the call of duty and saves dozens of civilian lives by escorting them to safety while the attack is repelled.
Insistent that the best defense is a good offense, the Japanese Prime Minister sends the JSDF, and newly promoted Lieutenant Itami, to the other side of the gate to establish a forward camp and demand answers for their heinous actions.
It’s on the other side that Itami continues to prove his worth. Despite his slacker appearance and demeanor, Itami has a compassionate heart, and is very resourceful in the face of danger. He is a great choice as a scout into another world, because he approaches his duties with an open mind and compassion, intendent on discovering the nature of the new world and the intention of those that reside in it.
[TRAILER」- Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
1. Nicolas Brown – Gangsta
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2015 – September 2015
Residents of the grimy, crime-ridden city Ergastulum, have a lot to go up against; crime lords, drug dealers, prostitutes, corrupt cops. There’s not a lot to be happy about. That is, unless you’re enforcers for the mafia and city police, like “handymen” Worick and Nicolas, who are called in to do the jobs that no one else want to do, and finish the jobs the other people can’t.
There is a lot that sets Nicholas apart from other characters on the show, most notably his physiology. He is deaf, either through birth or years of abuse at the hands of his monstrous father. As such, he possesses the invaluable ability to read lips, and an almost superhuman sense of vision, as well as proficiency with edged weapons and firearms. Speaking of superhuman, he is also a “Twilight,” and has physical abilities far beyond that of a normal human due to the drug, Celebrer. He was hired by Worick’s family as a body guard, and the two formed an inseparable bond.
Although he was raised as a child soldier, and became comfortable with death at a young age, he is also capable of acts of compassion, as evidenced by his kindness in regard to the down-on-her-luck prostitute, Alex. The juxtaposition of his humanity and the brutality that he is forced to live with on a daily basis help color his character in interesting shades of gray, setting him apart from other characters in the series, and other entries on the list.
There you have it, five of the male characters that helped you beat the heat and made this summer’s anime season such a standout. What do you think of our selection? Are there any male characters that deserve a spot in your person top five that we’ve overlooked? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.