Story is usually what I emphasize when it comes to a great show. However, what’s a great story without great characters? Characters that have good development, whether it be positive or negative, are what help carry the story along. They also could BE the story, which is also important.
A wide variety of characters also allow a wide range of audiences members and fans. You want a character that not only can relate, but several characters that can relate to other different people as well.
So I wanted to do a Top Five Characters that have impacted me in a way: either I relate to them, they touch a feeling within me, or I find them funny and well written. They’re not in any specific order.
Pearl from Steven Universe
Overprotective of little Steven, she is considered the “mom” of the series. Pearl is part of the Crystal Gems. She stern and is always worrying about something. However, she is caring.
Pearl is a perfectionist at times. She wants things done in the right way. However, it’s all for Steven. If you listen to her song “Strong in the Real Way”, you’ll understand her stance.
Feelings is a key word here. She’s a very emotional character. Even though she tries to wrap it up to be more presentable and less vulnerable, but she is very emotive.
One of my favorite raw moments was in the episode “Cry for Help”. When another character, Garnet, found out Pearl was lying to because she liked magically fusing to become Sardonyx, we can see Pearl’s regret and fear as she clutches her chest. She’s normally a strong headed character, but her flaw was her trying to satisfy or build her self-esteem in ways that weren’t healthy.
That hit so close to home. I felt the way Pearl has before, and normally, an animated television character doesn’t do that for a whole lot of people.
Quasimodo from Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Disney’s Quasi is a sweet, and lovable character. Also, very underrated, in my opinion. Don’t want to go on a Disney Princess tirade again.
Quasimodo is meant to be a striking opposite of Claude Frollo, the antagonist. He’s a very pure, but relatable character in the sense that there’s something in all of us that is afraid to show our pure selves. Hiding away, an anxiety. Maybe we were shamed into thinking we were one thing. Maybe not good enough, maybe ugly, or fat.
But, what if those things are okay? What if it’s okay to not be pretty as society sees fit, maybe we aren’t the “ideal” weight. And sometimes, we aren’t good enough, but that doesn’t make us deposable or useless. Just because we don’t meet a certain standard, doesn’t mean we can’t meet another.
And that’s what Quasi means to me. His song, “Out There” hits me really close, as we all want to meet and relate to people. I try not to tear up every time I hear it.
Arnold from Hey Arnold!
I don’t know if I completely relate to an inner city kid, since I’ve also been out in the country some (thanks Tennessee). However, the problems I’ve faced before are somewhat relatable to Arnold’s.
Remember in one of my previous’s posts where I mentioned an episode where Arnold refused to rat out his friends for his own sake, but knew it would benefit themselves if they revealed themselves as the culprits. Arnold has always impacted me to do better. To better myself.
That doesn’t mean that Arnold was perfect. In fact, in one episode, he made fun of one of his new teachers. He followed along with the rest of his class bullying their teacher, to the point where he cried and stayed at home. But Arnold betters himself. In fact the whole class does after seeing (compared to a nasty substitute), that their old teacher was actually alright. They went back to him and apologized. They engaged him, and wanted to learn from him again. That’s what I like about Arnold. He acknowledges his wrong doing, and tries to do right, and better himself.
Peggy from King of the Hill
I honestly don’t know why I like this character so much. Actually all of the characters in this show are hilarious (Bobby actually was going to be on here), but there was something about Peggy.
For me, Peggy kinda represents the adult woman I want to be. She’s very upfront when she feels it’s appropriate. She also doesn’t feel like she’s held down by her marriage. Not that Hank would hold her from voicing her opinion. He’s very respectful of her. It’s that she’s not afraid to take the reigns every once in awhile. She’s not fearful, but within reason (sometimes within reason…there was that cult….).
But she cares. She deeply cares for her family to where she would take matters into her own hands.
Lilo from Lilo and Stitch
A strong character from my childhood. She’s a lonely one. She also seems too complicated by all the silly or “weird” things she loves to do, but I’d disagree.
Yeah sure she’s nerdy and loves Elvis, not a whole lot of kids can relate to listening to Elvis constantly. However, kids can relate to being isolated or feeling like they don’t belong.
Lilo is that character that touches the nerd or weird kid in all of us, but allows us a sense of belonging, much like Quasi. However Lilo is brave, and never hides who she is. Even if she’s told to tone it down a bit, she may get sad, but she doesn’t stop. She perseveres. After her parents dying, being constantly bullied, and the fact that she might be separated from her sister is a terrifying thought and would bring down most children. In fact it does for her in some circumstances, letting out her loneliness in prayer. But she doesn’t give up hope. She prays for a friend, hopes for a friend. She’s a persevering character.
[Pictures from fanpop.com, disney.wikia.com, huffingtonpost.com, and ign.com]