Hmmm. Which anime character am I most similar to?
That is a very good question.
Certainly, there are a number of characters I can relate to in some way.
There’s Luffy, from One Piece, who sees the world a bit differently from everyone else, and who understands the importance of food, but I don’t really see myself as any sort of leader, with high ambitions of being king of whatever, and a really strong fist.
There’s Natsu, from Fairy Tail, who loves explosions and disagrees easily, taking a sort of fiendish delight in destruction, even stating how “breaking things is a Fairy Tail specialty.” But he’s far too loud-mouthed for me to really connect with, no matter how much I admire him.
If this were a character from any sort of cinema, then it would be easy: Rumpelstiltskin, from Once Upon a Time, as there are a number of freakish similarities between us… at least, up until last season, but as this is about anime characters, it doesn’t count anyway.
So, I believe I’m stretching things a bit, but I am settling on Usopp, from One Piece.
One way Usopp reminds me of me is, quite simply, how he has no superpowers. He just has his wits and whatever tools he can get his hands on. That said, he has mad sniper skills, and the tools at his disposal make for a varied arsenal, but he is basically a normal guy among super-freaks. In a similar way, I see a number of my friends and peers as practically possessing super powers, and here I am… normal. I’m good at what I do, but I don’t have the same skills that others have.
Usopp’s friends don’t look down on him or anything, in fact they see him as a treasured, valuable, integral part of their crew. Yet Usopp has keenly felt what he lacks, once so badly that he clashed with his best friend, Luffy, over it. In a similar manner, however smart my friends say I am, I often feel dwarfed in their company, physically, mentally, even emotionally. But as Usopp pulls himself together to use his skill in the best way possible, just nudging his side towards victory, so do I try to use what I have to the best of my abilities, and hope for the best.
Heck, there are times when Usopp’s select skills and personality make him the perfect, even the only, one to tackle a specific obstacle. Success or failure will determine the fates of his friends. When that happens, he does not shy away, but loves doing what he can to help. I can’t say it’s very often, but, occasionally, my own strange skills and personality have been precisely what was needed.
What purpose does Usopp bend his talents to? What is his great ambition? To be recognized and hailed as some great figure? Nope. His goal is just “to be a brave warrior of the sea.” This is both the least and the most ambitious of the Straw Hats’ goals. He can achieve this every day, but he’ll be achieving it every day for the rest of his life, whilst his friends can wake up one day to find their goals achieved and be done with them. In like fashion, my greatest ambition is to just be the best person I can be, day by day, a little better than before.
Usopp also shares my value of one’s own well-being, if you know what I mean. He sees danger, and his first impulse to run away from it. That’s a very human thing to do, I think. He even went so far as to play dead once, but then, realizing how cowardly he was being in the face of his friends’ courage and selflessness, he mustered up his will. He fought with all his might, wits, and will against a foe that, by rights, should have annihilated him. Through a perfect combination of luck and conniving skill, he emerged victorious. I tend to deal with the obstacles in my path with similar fortune.
There’s even how Usopp tends to… shall we say, overcompensate? He’s Usopp the Liar, teller of tall tales and taunter of enemies. Of course, then he immediately regrets it and can only try and make things better (at least when hiding behind his friends doesn’t work). I must admit, sometimes I get carried away and do or say something foolish in an attempt to carry my own weight, and sometimes I need help to put things right.
At the core of his lies, though, Usopp is just a storyteller, which is my heart and soul. He even started with his stories to cheer up a girl who was often sick, so he’d sneak up to her window and tell her his lies, making her smile and laugh. That’s more or less what I’d love to do for the rest of my life: tell stories that brighten people’s days and lift their spirits!
Heck, his lies and mannerisms are so flamboyant, you can’t help but laugh. Which is the idea of flamboyance, ya know?
There’s more I could probably mention, not least of which would be his talent for mischef, but to summarize: Usopp is smart, but sometimes brash, skilled, but not superpowered, aware of his limits, but determined, fearful and brave at the same time, supportive of his friends, enjoys making others smile with his tall tales, and only wants to be the best man he can be. Flawed. But good. And trying to improve.
I like to think of myself like that.