4. Kariya Matou, the Muggle Katniss (Fate/Zero)

fatezero kariya

Anyone familiar with the Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night series will know that when "Berseker" shows up, shit is about to get real. The series centers around a battle to the death amongst a group of mages who wish to control the mystical MacGuffin known as the Holy Grail, which has the power to give whoever wields it their hearts desire (because no one in anime has ever seen an Indiana Jones movie). What follows is a Game of Thrones-style chess match of alliances and betrayals as the mages and their "Heroic Spirits" fight to be the last magician standing. It's almost like Highlander by way of Harry Potter, only sometimes people's faces squirt blood. 

Introduced in Fate/Zero, Kariya is something of a black sheep in the Matou family since he was born without magic. Kariya gets wrapped up in the Holy Grail War when he volunteers as tribute in order to spare his niece from getting involved. In order to do so, Kariya offers up his body to be infected with these energy-producing worms that jump-start his magic mojo and put him in control of the heroic spirit known as "Berserker." Long story short, Kariya ends up as a dangerous, Charlie Kelly-grade Wild Card.

If all of that seems really cool, you should know that in the series, it builds towards an unsatisfying ending. Which is a shame, considering Kariya's central conflict is so interesting and could have benefited with more time. I found myself wanting to know more about the internal struggles of the Matou family, and having Kariya's story being echoed in the series Fate/Stay Night in Shirou Emiya's journey.

 

5. Shusei Kagari, the Dystopian Chandler (Psychopass)

Shusei Kagari

Psychopass takes no prisoner. A blend of Blade Runner and Minority Report, the show takes place in a dystopian future where people's stress levels are measured by something called Sibyl System. If your stress levels get too high, you become more likely to become a criminal, and the police are sent in to capture or kill you. The only people tasked with taking down the bad guys of this world are the Hounds, people with "crime coefficients" that are on the borderline. These Hounds are overseen by Investigators and the relationship of Investigator Akane to her partner ShinyaKogami is at the center of the series.

So where does Shusei Kagari come in?

Introduced in the debut episode, Kagari doesn't get much to do other than being the guy who cracks wise, but like any good supporting character, he's likeable in the way that remind you of Hoban Washburn or Xander Harris. In fact, Kagari doesn't really get to shine until the back half of the first season, where he's assigned to track one of the bad guys and stumbles onto a dangerous secret. His sacrifice blows open the second half of the series from the main character's point of view and his death is a pivotal turning point in the series, turning it from the cat-and-mouse tail to a dark Orwellian sci-fi thriller.

 

6. Kami, the Dragon Ball deity

dragon ball z

The name "Kami" is Japanese for "Divine Being" or "God", which makes Kami the God of the Dragon Ball universe. He's not the only God in the Dragon Ball world (King Kai and the Elder Kai serve the role as supreme creator being, while King Yemma serves as the final arbiter for the dead), but he's one of the most important. It was Kami that created the titular Dragon Balls that have been the central plot device of the show since its inception.

Plus, the dude can shoot lasers out of his eyes.

When the show became less of an adventure story in Dragon Ball Z, Kami took a back-seat. Though still indispensable, he was definitely overshadowed by Goku and the crew's exploits with various space-invaders, androids and time-travelers. But it's worth remembering just how cool Kami was when he first debuted. Before Kami, Goku never met anyone as powerful and after him, Goku's game stepped up immensely. Plus, Kami was vital in establishing one of the iconic villains in the Dragon Ball Univese, Evil King Piccolo. And without Piccolo, Raditz would have never been defeated, and the events of DBZ would never occur. Meaning more than a few million people owe this dude a thank-you card.