After seeing over a hundred different animes and finding that certain character types tend to have stronger followings than others, this blogger decided to make a segment on the most commonly endearing personality traits found in anime.
The first on a long list (only the most common will be posted) that comes up more than any other is the concept of “moe“. By definition moe characters are cute and seemingly innocent like a child, but not sexualized like loli (even though a wealth of porn exists of any character hear on the internet). The most well known examples of moe all tend to come from Kyoto Animation these days with Mikuru Asahina from the Hruhi franchise fame.
However it’s not limited to a personality trait as it can also be applied as an expression
Typically associated with timidness or embarrassment.
The reason behind the popularity of moe is as diverse as there are people since they are the typical representation of desirable traits in a female character.
Next are the “dere“s i.e. “tsundere” and within the last decade “yandere” as well. They stand opposite on the spectrum of love but are not opposites themselves; tsundere characters are generally hostile towards the person they hold affections for only gradually letting their real feeling show through, a good example would be just about any leading main female character voiced by Rie Kugimiya, as an example:
Note the blush and “angry eyes” these are typical when faced with a situation that could potentially get them closer to the one they like.
Yandere, however, is loving and kind matured at first until something prompts a psychotic break down (such as an unfaithful partner) where they become murderous and obsessive. There are different varieties and sub groups, but the most well known examples are Katsura Kotonoha from School Days and Ryuuguu Rena of Higurashi fame. But Rena’s facial expressions are more preferable to this segment.
Back to those subs groups: not all turn murderous towards their target, some like Gasai Yuno of Mirai Nikki are just murderous to everyone considered a threat to her desired relationship. This type will not inflict any lasting harm to the object of their affections, but are hyper-obsessive and tend to be stalkers.
The appeal of all this is the difficulty of the catch and the masochist tenancies of modern society developed to cope in a world where few manage to become successful.
Enough female characteristics.
In shonnen series many of the most popular/successful ones have at least one happy-go-lucky lovable idiot who is ridiculously over powered with a heart of gold. Characters like Goku from Dragon Ball always tend to draw attention since they lack any traces of evil, arrogance (more often than not anyway), and can turn any fight into something that can be laughed at because it’s actually funny and not sad (as in pathetic), usually associated with a never give up attitude and only ever becoming serious when their loved ones are threatened. Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece is another famous example of this character type with his bizarre fighting style and simplistic view of the world, he always knows just whose ass he needs to kick to resolve the situation and the facefaults for when an enemy is trying to do something and fails are good too.
Overall the reason why these kinds of characters stick out is because their personalities stay the same no matter what happens and still mange to show character growth.
One last type would be hotblooded characters (or GAR as the meme dictates), ones that embody the pinnacle of manliness inspiring his fellows to follow him into impossible odds and still mange to pull it off in the end. Probably the most famous and glorified of all the examples would be Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann whose crazy pursuit for freedom sparked off a massive war that just kept escalating to truly universal sizes until real freedom was obtained. Not all hotblooded characters need to be a reckless though, the other most glorified one of this type is Captain Harlock of Leiji Matsumoto‘s various works, as an outlaw and wanted criminal he still protects the Earth in anyway he can if only for the sake of one child to grow up in peace. He holds a just as impressive track record as any modern character for defying impossibly odds and exceeding known reason.
These sorts of characters gain notoriety just because they are the rebels of society and don’t give a damn about conventional ways of doing things, this kind of character has been a cultural favorite for most of the connected world for decades before anime was ever conceived.
There are many other types of characters and even more sub types, but it’s just nice to be able to get the thoughts on the page sometimes so things get more into perspective, not to say anything can ever be black & white since the sky will always be blue.