While I work on this month’s sort of belated Inner Senshi Book Club review, I’ve been watching random vlog lists online, and I stumbled upon Nostalgia Chick’s “Top Ten Hottest Animated Guys” video. Though the list was made through a poll by her viewers and the video is more about her trying to understand why the masses chose the fictional boys they chose, it left me thinking about my own list of animated boys. Because, as strange as it sounds, it isn’t that difficult (for me, anyway) to be attracted to animated characters. At all. (Let’s ignore the psychological implications of this sentence…)
So anyway, here is a list of
Ten(ish) Gorgeous Animated Guys I Once Found/Currently Find Attractive
the Pretty Reasons)
10. Prince Eric (The Little Mermaid) & John Smith (Pocahantas)
If I’m only judging them on appearance, then Eric and John Smith make my list. Neither really appeal to me much anymore (though I do think Eric is adorable, despite the fact that we don’t really get to know him well), but I won’t deny that they’re pretty.
9. Terry McGinnis (Batman Beyond)
I’ll confess that I don’t remember this character or show at all, but I do remember watching episodes weekly when it was airing on the WB just for this guy. I wouldn’t be able to tell you why now (though I’m tempted to watch this series to find out), but had nothing to do with the fact that he remarkably physically resembled my favorite anime male character of all time. (Of course not!)
8. Alden Jones (Braceface)
Braceface was one of the few non-anime shows I watched when I was a kid. At first it was because, as strange as it was, it was kind of endearing, and it reminded me of the other non-anime show I watched religiously, Nickelodeon’s As Told By Ginger. But then, the more Alden Jones showed up on the screen, the more I had to watch. It’s not that he’s particularly pretty (he sort of is, but in a very average, very normal animated boy way), it’s that he had a very familiar voice. Which, I eventually realized, was Vincent Corazza, who was, at one point, the voice of “Darien Shields” in the Sailor Moon dub. (I swear, all roads lead to Tuxedo Mask.) In all seriousness, though, Alden was that cool-yet-ridiculously-awkward boy who played in this kind-of-okay band that you just wanted to know. He was a video game nerd, a bit of a dork, really comfortable with himself (and his masculinity — he grew up with three sisters, so few things female ever phase him), and a pretty awesome hockey player. I know people who found him to be rather bland, but honestly, I’d love to hang out with a guy like Alden in real life.
Let’s not talk about the fact that Alden stupidly broke up with Sharon too. Like Darien/Mamoru stupidly did with Usagi in Sailor Moon. Er… sorry. I have a lot of feelings.
7. Shang Yu (Mulan)
I didn’t want to put another Disney boy on this list, but I couldn’t leave off Shang Yu. Because the boy is awkward and flustered and adorable and such a great leader and
all the abs!. And that LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS scene plays in my head all the time. Even randomly when I’m in the middle of unrelated conversations.
6. Prince Cornelius (Thumbelina) & Dimitri (Anastasia)
As for non-Disney princess movies, my five-year-old self would have put Prince Cornelius on here, probably for the A WHOLE NEW WORLD—I mean, LET ME BE YOUR WINGS factor. (I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what else it could be, even though I still adore this film.) But the only non-Disney male character (since he’s not a prince) that still appeals to me is Dimitri because he’s kind of a jerk, and yeah, he’s a con artist, but he’s also really… sweet. When he wants to be. And I love that they have all this secret history and he sort of rescued her way back when and he’s not just a random servant boy who kind of had a crush on the princess and never got over her. He fell for Anya, not because she turned out to be Anastasia after all, but because she stole his heart as the girl she is now, before it’s even confirmed that she’s the real deal. And… he’s also really pretty (look at the hairrrr!).
5. Flynn Rider (Tangled) & Aladdin (Aladdin)
So the first Disney prince I always think of is Simba (hey, that lion king has a very attractive smile, okay), but of the human characters, Aladdin and Flynn are my favorite. Which is funny because neither of them are princes. Actually, I remember loving Flynn the first time I saw Tangled because he reminded me insanely of Aladdin. Though Aladdin is sweeter and more sincere, and he has that “diamond in the rough” thing going on, I love how hilarious and adventurous and kind of… dorky both theives are. Aladdin’s more of a romantic, and Flynn tries harder to be cool, but both of them end up showing their princesses the world, and finding happiness in ways they didn’t think was possible (granted, Flynn wanted riches, and Aladdin just wanted the girl, but they both got… both, so all is well).
4. Son Goku (Dragon Ball Z)
It kind of amazes me that my two favorite childhood characters, both of whom were my first anime attachments way back when, are… basically the same person. If Tsukino Usagi (Sailor Moon) was a martial artist, strong, saiyan boy, she’d be Goku. No, seriously. He’s charmingly oblivious, so freaking adorable, determined to save… everyone and everything, and always stuffing his face. Hell, the one difference between them is that Usagi responds to romance and wouldn’t mind Mamoru’s lips on hers. (I can’t remember a single romantic scene between Goku and Chi Chi in which he was actually responsive, excluding that one time they fought in a tournament and every move had all this sexual tension… sort of). Then again, both she and Goku are probably from the same planet
(except not at all) because neither of them realized that their significant other was sort-of proposing to them. Though Usagi beats Goku in this instance because she at least wouldn’t respond to a request for marriage with the question, “Is that a type of food?”). Oh, Goku. I think I watched Dragon Ball Z just for you.
3. Riku (Kingdom Hearts, which counts because it’s an animated video game, so there.)
Okay, I fell for “bad boys” quite easily once upon a time. In my defense, Riku has substance beyond the “being kind of evil for a game and a half” thing. I’ll confess that the first thing I noticed about Riku was his gorgeous, long-ish hair. (Especially in Kingdom Hearts II — that mane is mesmerizing.) But beyond his utter… shininess, I love how he teased Sora all the time (I ship them madly, even if supposedly they’re both in-like with Kairi), how he was the one who concocted their plans to see the world(s), his sarcasm. I love how he wasn’t completely willing to join the dark side, even though he believed his friends had betrayed him, that he wasn’t so easily possessed — some part of him knew, some part of him pushed him to break free. His struggle in Kingdom Hearts II is my favorite source of all things Riku, and that scene when he tells Sora how he used to feel jealous of him on Destiny Island, how he didn’t think Sora should be friends with him because of the stuff he did, always simultaneously breaks my heart and makes it soar.
2.Tsuruga Ren (Skip Beat!)
Admittedly, I only discovered Skip Beat! like… two months ago. But ahhhh, this anime was the most amazing thing I’ve seen in a long time. Solely for this guy (okay, well, Kyoko is kind of brilliant, but my brain has been RENNNNNNNNN! since I finished, so yeah). I don’t know what it is about this guy. He reminded me a lot of manga!Chiba Mamoru – sweet, reserved, serious, respectable, but kind of an ass if he thinks you’re insulting anyone or anything he cares about (so basically, an all around reasonable guy). And when he smiles… the whole world stops and stares for a while. I’m serious (if it’s a real smile and not a ‘stage smile’ – the guy even smiles when he’s ridiculously pissed off, and it is scary… though you’d probably stare then too because it’s one hell of a smile). I don’t know as much about him as I’d like to because I haven’t read the manga and the finished anime doesn’t cover tons, but everything I do know, from his insecurities about his ridiculously successful family and his own talents, to the fact that he doesn’t even realize when he has real feelings for a girl because he is such a sheltered innocent baby who has no idea what real love feels like even when he’s feeling it and this girl is making him blush all the time and his heart is beating fast and he can’t concentrate on anything because there she is and she is amazing. Also, any guy who would pretend to be a fairy prince to make a girl stop crying is THE BEST in my eyes. Especially because he knows she loves fairies and stories and her life is lonely and sad and he just wants to make her happy. THE BEST, seriously. (Think of it this way: my personal Ren theme songs are KISS THE GIRL and I WON’T SAY I’M IN LOVE because he is that adorably in denial.)
(I may have huge anime!crushes on Syaoran Li (Card Captor Sakura), Hyuuga Natsume (Gakuen Alice), and Kashino Makoto (Yumeiro Patissiere), but, well… I’m not supposed to find animated pre-teenagers attractive, so I’ll leave them off this list to preserve whatever the hell is left of my dignity. *waves to baby shoujo boys who are seriously so cute — shhhh!*
And Sohma Kyo (Fruits Basket), Suoh Tamaki (Ouran High School Host Club), and Arima Soichiro (Kare Kano) should have made this list, but I didn’t want to talk about anime for all ten, so I had to make myself not do it. They’re all kind of tortured and need all the cuddles, but I’ll have to write odes to their awesomeness later. Also, Furuhata Motoki (Sailor Moon) because that boy is a fantastic milkshake maker (god, that sounds like an innuendo), therapist, and ridiculously nice/charming/perfect boy all at once, and who didn’t spend at least ONE episode understanding why all these middle school girls chose to spend their time flirting up a storm with that pretty arcade boy?)
1. Chiba Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen/Prince Endymion (Sailor Moon)
Considering I mentioned him so many times already, this was probably really easy to guess.
Amusingly, he was on Nostalgia Chick’s list at #5, but she didn’t know anything about him, and they didn’t really talk about Mamoru’s appeal (just Dark!Endymion, who okay, is attractive because evil + prince = sexy, but I’d rather have Mamo-chan the cat-loving nerd with zero fashion sense instead). Though, “So here’s a guy… goes to a lot of proms one must assume… and he lives at the bottom of the opera… where he put a boomerang in his hat!” made me laugh way more than it should have. (Sorry, Mamo-chan!)
It’s difficult for me to describe Mamoru without breaking into fangirly-flaily tears of “OMG MY PRECIOUS!” or without breaking into… really cheesy, really catchy dub songs (I know, I know, but those things were addicting!). It’s more than the nostalgia factor, it’s more than the fact that this boy will always have my heart because I fell in love with him (without realizing it) when I was five, and he’s stayed with me ever since. I could write posts upon posts about why manga!Mamoru is my favorite, but since it was anime!Mamoru (originally Darien Shields to me, but I was five and had no idea what ‘dub’, ‘sub’, ‘anime’ or… Japan was, so leave me alone) that stole my heart originally (and he’s the one that’s actually, you know, animated…), I’m just going to focus on him. At the heart of it, I love Mamoru because he’s ridiculous. I remember shipping him and Usagi insanely before I knew what a ship was just because… here you have a nineteen-ish year old college boy, who seems to be a generally composed, collected, intelligent person, and he completely loses his cool the second this cute girl with the odango hair stumbles his way. He says the stupidest things around her, and half the time, you really want Usagi or Motoki or even his own conscience to slap him in the face because he can be downright cruel (or just call the girl ‘stupid’ a hundred times because boy is trying too hard to seem antagonistic when he is utterly charmed by her). (And then you laugh so hard when Usagi’s shoe hits him on the head. Repeatedly. And actually, quite accidentally.) I don’t know… Mamoru’s a prince, he’s a tuxedo-clad hero with corny (yet inspirational) speeches and (usually) impeccably timing, but it is the “lost, socially awkward orphan who fell in love with a klutzy teenager and then… didn’t know what to do about it” that appeals me. The fact that he’s totally okay with being the guy-in-distress who is constantly targeted for brainwashing/possession-by-some-great-big-evil and is always willing to lend his girlfriend his strength as she saves the world only makes me love him more.
Just ignore the fact that 89% of the time, the guy really shouldn’t be allowed to dress himself.