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3 Influential Anime Characters

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Floch Forster

Floch Forster

Erwin Smith

Erwin Smith

Light Yagami

Light Yagami

When life is empty, filling the void with some cool anime is a great idea. There are lots of animes with various genres. As we watch different ones, there are always some characters that stand out from the others.

Some of them inspire us during times of despair. Others just amaze us by their personality traits. Either way, they stick to the back of our minds for quite some time. Below are some of them that fit into this category.

1. Erwin Smith (Anime: Attack on Titan)

The former commander of the Survey Corps is at the top of the list. To fight the giant man-eating creatures called Titans that are fatal to humans, the regiment was known as the Survey Corps was formed. Their job is to venture outside and combat these beings face-to-face. Owing to the huge difference in size, the death toll among them was huge until Erwin Smith took over as commander and reduced these numbers considerably.

His ability to read the situation and respond with the appropriate action is extraordinary. Throughout the series, he comes up with various strategies and takes risky gambles which overall are beneficial to humanity although he thought of himself as being selfish. One of the notable ones is the Coup D’Etat which was a rebellion against the corrupt government that eventually gave power to the true royal family.

But his biggest and most amazing one was his last one. His suicide charge against the Beast Titan is worth remembering for the way he leads a young group of soldiers who possibly have a lot more to experience in life to charge towards their deaths despite the set of large boulders being hurled at them with ferocious velocity by the Beast Titan. Add to this the pressure of knowing that he will die too. All this demonstrates the characteristics of a true leader who knows the right time for sacrifices.

The suicide mission was necessary to act as a distraction for the Beast Titan so that another powerful soldier could defeat the enemy. His speech was not only inspiring but also serves as an eye-opener to the important aspects of life that are ignored usually. Of course, his death was not in vain.

2. Floch Forster (Anime: Attack on Titan)

Let’s say you are in the middle of a battle where your side is overwhelmed very badly and retreating seems to be the only option. But instead, you are ordered to charge towards the enemy despite it being obvious that taking such action is suicide. And on top of all that, you are a coward. That is exactly the case with Floch Forster.

Yes, this is the same suicide charge that Erwin Smith had to undertake to enable another character to eliminate the enemy. This should have been the end of Floch Forster along with the commander and the other soldiers, right? It was the end for everyone except Floch; he was the lone survivor of the suicide charge!

As stated before, he was originally a coward. As soon as the suicide operation was announced, he was the only one who had thought of defying orders by running away from all the soldiers who were part of the charge. The phenomenon of coming face-to-face with death ought to stimulate a transformation in a person. As the phrase goes, “Once bitten, twice shy”.

The new Floch was not the same anymore. He had firsthand experience of the cruel world they were living in. Due to this, he had developed the instincts of knowing what the best course of action was particularly for the people of his homeland. He became the new Erwin Smith! Of course, that is an overstatement as Smith is irreplaceable.

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In the world of Attack on Titan, peace and co-existence were never options. It was either your side or the other side that gets to survive. Unfortunately, most of them did not realize it on the side of Paradise Island (The side of the protagonist as well as Floch and Erwin Smith) which is why Floch had to act like a jerk to some of them.

Floch headed a rebellious group known as the Yeagarists against the people in power who were hesitant in taking hard action against the vicious outside world which desperately wished for the extinction of the people on the island. In all the following battles, even in situations where the opponents seemed to have the upper hand, he fought on bravely and served his homeland till his last breath.

The suicide charge was a huge turning point that molded him into the character he became later on. All this just demonstrates the idea that to experience the best, you must go through the worst. If you require inspiration on fixing your resolve for anything, then look no further than Floch. While Erwin Smith was inherently talented and a natural leader, Floch was more of a follower-turned leader due to his unflinching loyalty.

3. Light Yagami (Anime: Death Note)

Many people who would have watched Death Note might question: What can we learn from a murderer? “Love the sinner but hate the sin”. This applies to typical criminals but the person in this context is no ordinary criminal. So, can he teach us anything at all? I am not sure about any particular lesson, but he can surely create a conflict within ourselves and make us question our moral compass.

The name is Light Yagami who happens to be a brilliant high-school student. On a random regular day, he happens to obtain a mysterious notebook called Death Note that has the power to kill anyone whose name is written on it. He can now use it on any person he has beef with without any restrictions or threat of anybody coming to know about it. Of course, that is what is expected from a TV show right? Well, that isn’t the case with Death Note. Light’s intentions are highly noble; at least that’s what he thinks of them to be.

Even before acquiring the Death Note, he was disgusted by the crimes happening in his surroundings. As the news of such acts is being reported, he retorts to himself that this world is rotten and that it needs correction. There has to be someone to punish the wrongdoers for their deeds.

His acquisition of the notebook does not occur to him as some mere coincidence. In his view, he has been the chosen one to carry out the obligation of eliminating evil from the world. He sees himself as a savior destined to establish heaven on Earth. Therefore, his ultimate goal was to bring up a peaceful world where only the virtuous would thrive. As the show progresses, he does reduce the crime rate by a huge margin.

Now the obvious question would be: Is he morally correct or not? There are strong arguments for both sides of the debate. Most would say that no person can pass judgment on any particular person especially when the matter is about the person’s life. Even in the real world, the death penalty is a controversial topic. But the feat achieved by Light Yagami just cannot be ignored.

We hear about various crimes taking place every day. Taking into account the sheer brutality of some of these cases, we cannot help but hope for some power or perhaps a person who could put an end to all this. This view was reflected in the show itself. Many common people who condemned Light’s actions publicly, secretly cheered him on. Frankly, I am still in conflict over whether people like Light must be hailed as a hero or should such people be considered in the same category as Hitler. Erwin Smith and Floch Forster inspire us directly through their actions whereas Light Yagami makes us explore ourselves.


There can be many more characters that are as inspiring or even more inspiring than the ones listed here. In fact, anime is known for having many such characters so it is tough to list all of them. Any of the ones mentioned here might not be of any value at all. Some might despise all the characters here and feel they deserve to be forgotten. And it’s okay! Different individuals have different perspectives due to different experiences which represent our uniqueness.

© 2021 MH

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