Top 10 Non-Canon Anime Characters
Written by: ClayDragon & Shiggins
Who remembers filler characters? Anyone? Well, it’s not surprising if you don’t. Since most filler characters never have a large impact on the plot due to their very nature, it can be easy to simply ignore the fact that they exist. However, there are a number of non-canon characters that, on occasion, are equally as good as any canon character. Acting as something of a sister list to our Top 10 Non-Canon Anime Storylines, this list highlights the best non-canon characters out there.
Thanks to the anonymous ask.fm user who requested this Top 10!
As is this the case with many of these lists, SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned.
10.) The Unnamed Shinigami (Death Note) (Written by Shiggins)
“I want to go down to the Human World. I’m sick of this place. It’s so boring. I’ve heard that the human world is a lot more…interesting.”
One of the more mysterious character on this list, the Unnamed Shinigami is dripping with potential and the fandom has absolutely surrounded him with theories and questions. Although he doesn’t appear in the episodes, he should be extremely familiar to the countless fans of Death Note who watched the “movies”, which are just summaries of the series themselves.
|“Far out, man! Let’s go kill some humans, dawg! I’m all about that rock n’ roll music! …Can I hang out with you guys now?”|
Used as somewhat of a framing device, this Shinigami appears before Ryuk and is almost like a sign that the cycle of the Death Note will begin again, as he too is bored with the Shinigami Realm and expresses interest in visiting the Human World. Ryuk then goes on to explain his journey with Light Yagami and the huge events that took place because of Ryuk’s own boredom. As I’m sure you remember, it wasn’t pretty.
If you are familiar with this Shinigami, you might also be familiar with one of the most well-known fan theories of all time; Light Yagami was reincarnated as this figure. And weirdly, it makes a lot of sense. The things he wears, the way he limps because of an injury, the way he gives Ryuk an apple… In fact, he doesn’t stay to hear the end of Ryuk’s story, which almost implies he already knows how it ends. Maybe people read too much into it but I personally love the idea of coming back as a goggle-wearing skeleton of doom!
9.) Eclipse Celestial Spirits (Fairy Tail) (Written by Shiggins)
Leo: “But we are going to demolish this fate. For that sake, we don’t care what happens to our lives!”
Designed by Hiro Mashima himself, the Eclipse Celestial Spirits were the main focus of the second large filler arc to appear in the Fairy Tail series and they did not disappoint… mostly. At first glance, you’ll probably decide if you love them or hate them as they all have extreme personalities and traits like the original Celestial Spirits, except the opposite. So for example, Virgo is a sadist instead of a masochist.
Although my personal favourite is Virgo, the others are mostly good too. Instead of a grouchy bitch, Aquarius is now a lovable child who just wants to play. Instead of a shy sweetheart, Aries is a reckless daredevil with a love for cars. And instead of a charming and cool playboy, Leo is a cruel knight who wants to destroy Lucy. Most of them are played for laughs, but it does work to show just how extreme the characters are and how much we should appreciate the real versions.
As you can see from the above picture, not every one of them is great. Pisces is just the worst one of the bunch, and I’m not a fan of Capricorn’s design either. The arc itself is surprisingly underwhelming, making me wonder if the last filler arc the series did was a one-time blessing they’ll never be able to obtain again. Still, we got a maid wearing leather so I guess it wasn’t that bad.
8.) Kazeshini (Bleach) (Written by Shiggins)
“I don’t know about other Zanpakuto spirits, but I know who I am! I exist to reap lives! That was the only thing I was responsible for in this ‘relationship’!”
Probably the only filler arc worth mentioning in Bleach, the Zanpakuto Sprit Rebellion gave us an entire army of new characters and designs. While some people I know prefer Haineko or Hyorinmaru, it was Kazeshini which stole the show for me. Maybe it’s because he was the only one who kept the exact same personality despite no longer being brainwashed, or maybe it’s just the ‘killer’ design.
While the others weren’t able to control their own bodies or minds because of the villains and turned good again once they were gone, Kazeshini never lost sight of his goal to kill the wielder of his blade: Shuhei Hisagi. His design is just brilliant, being both expressive and terrifying. His head seems to be his hair which makes it all the sweeter.
As is the case with filler, Kazeshini eventually ends up getting his own episode devoted to him about his quest to kill Hisagi and he... accidently adopts a baby. It’s weird and random yet somehow hilarious and sweet at the same time and really helped solidify his role as my favourite Bleach filler character ever. If you deny my words, watch Kazeshini nearly drop a baby off a roof. You won’t be disappointed.
7.) Febri (A Certain Scientific Railgun) (Written by ClayDragon)
“I love my Gekota! Yay!”
One of (if not the) cutest characters on this list, Febri was introduced in the last arc of the Railgun anime. First found asleep in a flower bed, she immediately latched on to Uiharu and Saten, who treated her as a little sister or daughter. For some unknown reason, Febri is initially terrified of Mikoto, although she warms up to her after Mikoto saves her from a robot attack. Dressed in a gothic outfit, Febri is rarely seen without one of her trademark lollipops in her mouth.
As it turns out, Febri is not actually a human. She’s a man-made lifeform created by a group of scientists to be an artificial esper, in the hopes that she would be more reliable and easier to control than actual human espers. It also transpires that her lollipops aren’t just sweets – her body naturally produces toxins that accumulate and will eventually kill her, and her lollipops neutralise the toxins. Febri was created in much the same way as the MISAKA Sisters, and as such they decide that she is their ‘little sister’.
|Ten minutes later, Mikoto wonders where her purse went.|
Despite having quite a complicated backstory, Febri acts just like a normal little girl. She gets excited over childish things like Mikoto’s Gekota finger puppets (one of which she later swipes when Mikoto’s guard is down). Most of her appearances involve her acting cute, but she is amusing at times, and quite a few heartwarming moments involve her, most notably when the MISAKA Sisters explain why they decided to help her. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with cute characters.
6.) White (Blood Blockade Battlefront) (Written by ClayDragon)
“I’m White! I’m a ghost! Let’s be friends, Leonardo!”
White (and, by extension, her brother Black) is a mysterious character that Leonardo meets in a hospital graveyard. At the time of writing this entry, Blood Blockade Battlefront hasn’t finished airing, but White is so likeable she was able to nab a spot on this list. Despite appearing in pretty much every episode so far, not a lot is known about White. She’s been in hospital for three years due to a bad heart, although that doesn’t stop her sneaking out with Leo on occasion. Also, she is probably not an actual ghost.
White’s relationship with Leo is a little complicated, as whilst it’s blatantly obvious that he has a crush on her, she seems a bit more distant. That being said, it didn’t stop her from going on a date to the cinema with him and she does seem happy to hang around with him whenever he visits her. Their relationship is complicated further due to the fact that White’s brother is actually the villainous King of Despair, who has taken an interest in Leo for his own plans.
Due to the fact that it’s left unclear whether or not she’s aware of her brother’s true identity, this does throws some uncertainty over White’s morality. Nonetheless, given her interactions with Leo, it’s clear that she does care about him, and it’s equally obvious that Leo has been a positive influence on her life. Regardless of what direction her character arc follows, she’s still one of the most likable characters in the series.
5.) Alois Trancy (Black Butler) (Written by ClayDragon)
“I want you, Ciel Phantomhive. That’s all it is.”
Alois Trancy is…well, crazy. One of the first things we see him do is gouge his maid’s eye out with his finger just because she looked at him. That should give you a pretty good measure of his personality. When he was young, his whole village was killed, and he was taken in by Earl Trancy. Unfortunately, he was kept as a sex slave by the old man, and in his despair he ended up summoning a demon to help him. Yeah, Alois had a pretty crappy life.
All these events pretty much destroyed Alois’ sanity, and although he’s able to act normal at times, he has a complete lack of empathy for everyone except his butler Claude. In fact, Claude is the only person that Alois cares for, and a large factor behind Alois’ actions is the desire for Claude to love him. Because of this motivation, coupled with his past, it’s hard not to feel sorry for him at times, but make no mistake – he is not a good person.
To be honest, Alois is easily the best part of Black Butler’s second season (aside from Ciel and Sebastian). He provides a very interesting foil to Ciel, as he is a perfect example of what Ciel’s life could have become were it not for one or two differences. It’s a shame that he hasn’t been introduced in the manga so far, because the contrast between him and Ciel, and the conflict between the two, have a huge amount of potential.
4.) Bardock (Dragon Ball Z) (Written by Shiggins)
“You’ve lived long enough! Actually, it’s been too long for my taste!”
Yes, Bardock was never originally canon. It’s so strange to think that this was the case but at least the anime asked for Akira Toriyama to design him first. The father of Son Goku and Raditz, although we never talk about Raditz, Bardock is as badass as they come and if he was in a live-action movie, he’d be played by Hugh Jackman. Yes, that is how cool Bardock the Saiyan is. He is the Wolverine of the Dragon Ball franchise.
Starring in two mini-movies and tons of video games, Bardock is a perfect example of how you don’t have to be nice to be good. He’s serious and brutal and has helped to destroy entire species for the will of Lord Frieza, so long as Frieza lets them live. In fact, as soon as Frieza decided to wipe out the Saiyans, Bardock was the one who got mad and smashed half of his army by himself!
Bardock was a man of many flaws but he did have a heart under that entire hard exterior, which is shown by the fact he was one of the few married Saiyans on the planet, and he did everything he could to save his son Superman-Style. There have been many anime dads that have died in the past, but Bardock exceeds so many by not being a perfect hero of superior strength. He was just one hell of a badass.
2.) Touka Takanashi (Love, Chuunibyou & Other Delusions) (Written by Shiggins)
“I just thought playing ‘house’ normally wasn’t very realistic.”
Over the past few months, ClayDragon and I decided to separately expand our anime knowledge and delve into other genres. We checked out some comedies, some dramas, and a harem show but most notable of all was the genre of romance. And ironically, we fell in love ourselves with a series called Chuunibyou. Yes, we truly are the pinnacle of manliness now but honestly, we don’t feel ashamed because the characters make us giggle… We’re men, we swear.
The best examples of why we love this series are the characters on this list, although I think Touka is one of my favourites. She’s tough, she’s surprisingly funny at times whilst also being the moral voice of reason at others, and she can wield a ladle like none other before! She’s flexible and caring, both physically and mentally and she’s also the older sister of Rikka, the main female protagonist. Quite surprising she’s non-canon, isn’t it?
One of those characters that make you scream “why are you not real?!” when they appear on the screen, it’s hard to envision the series without her considering her influence and power. Honestly, I don’t want to read the series without Touka because that just sounds so dull to me. Chuunibyou without Touka is like Tuesday without pizza; what’s even the point of existing without them?!
2.) Kumin Tsuyuri (Love, Chuunibyou & Other Delusions) (Written by ClayDragon)
“Do you nap? It’s nice. A sunny day is perfect weather for napping!”
Thought you’d seen the only Chuunibyou entry on this list? Well, you’d be wrong. The decision of who the better character is – Kumin Tsuyuri or Touka Takanashi – was such a difficult one to make that it forced us to abandon our ‘one entry per series’ rule and grant these two characters joint second place. Whereas Touka is more active, brash and outgoing, Kumin is pretty much her exact opposite, as she spends most of her screentime napping.
|This girl is my spirit animal.|
Kumin was first introduced when she was hunting for her missing cat, and after a convoluted series of events, ended up getting smacked in the head by a ladle thrown by Touka. We like to think it was accidental. Kumin has raised the act of napping to an art form, even going so far as to attempt to create a napping club at school (although this was quickly merged with Rikka’s club due to a lack of members). She carries at least one pillow on her at all times, and can (and will) fall asleep anywhere.
To be honest, Kumin’s main appeal is that she’s just so adorable. She not only puts up with Rikka’s fantasies, but she actively participates in them, just because she thinks it’s fun. She’s calm, considerate and cares deeply about her friends. It’s a shame that she started to get less focus as the anime went on, as she’s one of the best things about the series. At least she got an entire episode focusing on her entering a napping competition (and yes, those are real things).
1.) Team Rocket Trio (Pokémon) (Written by ClayDragon)
Jessie: “Prepare for trouble!”
James: “And make it double!”
These three ineffectual villains are some of the most iconic characters in the Pokémon series, despite not being found in any of the games (aside from Yellow, but since that was based on the anime, it doesn’t count). Comprised of Jessie, James and Meowth, this terrible trio have been trying to steal Ash’s Pikachu since the series began all those years ago. And they’re still no closer to their goal than when they started.
Whilst Jessie is the aggressive, take-charge type and de facto leader, James is somewhat more dim-witted, and actually a lot nicer than you’d think. Meowth likes to think he’s the only sane member of the group, and attempts to be philosophical at times, but in reality he’s just as bad as the rest of them. Despite their near-constant bickering, it’s been shown time and again that the three really care about each other, and will risk their lives to protect each other.
The reason why Team Rocket are loved so much is that they’re the funniest characters on the show, and their antics are always hugely entertaining. Whether James is dressing up as a ‘flaming Moltres’ or Jessie is beating up a Seviper with her bare hands, they are by far the best characters in the series, and their continued popularity is a testament to this fact.
|Rio Kamichika (Durarara!!)|
Is there a character you feel we missed out? Or do you have any suggestions for another Top 10 list? Let us know in the comments below!
|Stop the violence!|
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at email@example.com. He has an ask.fm account at ask.fm/ClayDragon. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. Today's mood: Sleepy.
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. He can also respond to you if you contact him through GMails at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere.