I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue to say it. One of the many reasons I love anime so much is for the characters. They’re often uniquely colorful and memorable, and they have an energy to them that makes it impossible for you not to like them. Sure, some of them are really over the top, some of them are nothing but glorified stereotypes, but they’re still enjoyable and memorable.
As a character-driven writer, I hold characters in higher regard to plot. The simple reason for this is that you can get a great sounding plot, but if the characters are dull and poorly written, I won’t care. By contrast, you can have a really terrible plot, but if the characters are good and interesting, I’ll still be invested. Sure, it’s even better when you can have both great plot and characters, but this is why I’ll always choose characters over anything else.
I’ve taken a lot of influence from anime in general when writing my own stories. Many of my characters have an “anime” feel to them, at least I think they do. Some of them have come off as over the top and cartoony in an endearing way, and I’ve fallen in love with them that way, only for them to later change and be more realistic, and I fall in love with them all over again for different reasons.
Some anime, which can be argued aren’t that good, have inspired some of my favorite stories and characters. One of my favorite anime characters is in a series which I still say is pretty terribly written, but it doesn’t stop me from liking it, mostly due to that character. (For those curious, it’s Alucard from Hellsing Ultimate.)
All this rambling to say: characters are what makes a story come alive to me more than anything else, and anime is where I’ve found some of my most favorite characters who are often the most vibrant and memorable. Whether or not you like anime, you do have to admit that it makes it hard for you to forget it.