A Guide to the Baron's Favorite Fictional Characters (SPOILERS)

(Hamlet of Earth-1948)

Real name: Hamlet, son of Hamlet

Aliases/Other Names: None,.

First Appearance: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Occupations: Prince of Denmark, student, avenger

Bases of Operations: Elsinore Castle, the University of Wittenberg

Place of Birth: Elsinore Castle, Denmark

Group Affiliation: Royal House of Denmark

Friends/Allies: Horatio, Marcellus, Barnardo

Enemies: Claudius, Polonius, Laertes

Height: Varies*

Weight: Varies*

Eye Color: Varies*

Hair Color: Varies*

Strength: Above average human

Speed: Above average human

Intelligence: Genius level human

Energy-Manipulation Ability: None

Magic-Manipulation Ability: None

Special Abilities: Excellent swordsman, skilled forger, gifted actor

Special Weapons/Equipment: None.


History: Hearing of his father's death, Prince Hamlet of Denmark returns home from Wittenberg, only to find that his uncle Claudius has assumed the throne and married Hamlet's mother, Gertrude. Already suspicious, Hamlet is visited by a spirit purporting to be that of his father, which asserts that the elder Hamlet was murdered by Claudius. Feigning madness, Prince Hamlet, with his friend Horatio's help, schemes to trap Claudius into a public admission of guilt, which would allow Hamlet to avenge his father and assume the throne of Denmark. Claudius, aware of the threat that Hamlet poses to him, plots to find a way to eliminate Hamlet. Thus begins a game of trap and counter-trap, resulting in the deaths of almost everyone involved, leaving only Horatio behind to watch as young Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, assumes the throne of Denmark.

Why He's a Favorite: Hamlet is the protagonist of my favorite Shakespeare play. I own eight different versions of the play of on DVD, and I enjoy watching them all.  there's just something that I find enthralling about the play, and it's always interesting to see how various actors interpret the part, and how different directors choose to film the story. I enjoy the cat and mouse between Hamlet and Claudius, and Hamlet's interaction with the not-as-clever-as-he-thinks-he-is Polonius. I find it interesting that the only character who seems to be able to match Hamlet's at wordplay is the First Gravedigger. Anyway, you can find way more of what I think about Hamlet here.



*Depending upon who's playing him

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Jeff of Earth-J said:

"It's not quite as diverse a group as I might have wanted to work with"?

Yeah, what I mean is, when I created the list, I just listed random characters that I liked. I tried not to have any one genre dominate, but I didn't otherwise work to a plan.  If I was "drafting " existing  characters to create a universe, I might've balanced it out a bit differently, is all.

Real Name: Saitama

Aliases/Other Names: Caped Baldy*

First Appearance:  Wanpanman, by One

Occupation: Super-Hero

Base of Operations: Z-City, Japan

Place of Birth:  Japan

Group Affiliation:  Hero Association

Friends/Allies: Genos

Enemies: Speed-o'-Sound Sonic, others

Height: 5' 9"

Weight: 154  lbs.

Eye Color: Black

Hair Color: None, formerly black

Strength:  Super-human

Speed: Super-human

Intelligence: Below average human

Energy-Manipulation Abilities: None

Magic-Manipulation Abilities: None

Special Abilities: Invulnerability, heightened senses, resistance to psychic attack

Special Weapons/Equipment:  None

History:  As a young man, Saitama  decided to become a hero. After doing 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and running 10 kilometers every day for three years, he went bald and gained vast super-human powers. (Note: No one but Saitama believes that this is the true source of his powers. No one knows their real source, however.)  He then became a super-hero.  While fighting crime, he met the cyborg Genos, who appointed himself Saitama's disciple and convinced him to join the Hero Association. However, because he is so powerful, he defeats all of his opponents easily. 

Why He's a Favorite:  Saitama is another character who appeals to my sense of the absurd.  He's a super-hero parody, about as powerful as the Silver Age Superman, but nowhere near as bright.  I like stories where idiots take themselves very seriously. He'll be in the middle of a battle and become upset because he's just remembered that he's missing bargain day at the super-market. This is the sort of thing that appeals to my sense of humor. I find it endlessly amusing.

*"Caped Baldy" is the code name given to Saitama by the Hero Association. Understandably, he doesn't like or use it.

Real Name: Joan Ferguson

Aliases/Other Names:  The Freak, The Bear

First Appearance:  Prisoner,  Episode 287 (1982)

(Note: Prisoner was known as Prisoner: Cell Block H outside of Australia)

Occupation: Prison Guard

Base of Operations:  Wentworth Detention Centre, Australia

Place of Birth: Unknown, presumably Australia

Group Affiliation: Staff of Wentworth Detention Centre

Friends: Shane Munro, the Major (Father)

Enemies: “Queen” Bea Smith, Rita “The Beater” Connors, Len Murphy, Ann Reynolds, numerous others.

Height:  5’10”

Weight: Unknown, heavy-set

Eye Color: Brown

Hair Color: Dark brown

Strength: Above average human

Speed: Average human

Intelligence: Above average human

Energy-Manipulation Abilities: None

Magic-Manipulation Abilities: None

Special Abilities: Expert at manipulating others, tough, tenacious fighter.

Special Weapons/Equipment: None

History:  As a young woman, she dreamed of a military career. Denied this, she joined the prison service. After the death of a young woman that she was in love with, Joan soured on life. Transferred to Wentworth, she quickly established a reputation for sadistic brutality, abusing the prisoners and running many criminal enterprises on the side, all while angling to become governor of the prison herself.  After many attempts to eliminate her, her reign was brought to an end when she was persuaded by a dying Rita Connors to take part in the robbery of a finance company. The whole plan was a set-up, and Joan was arrested and brought back to Wentworth as a prisoner, before being transferred to another prison in Western Australia.

 

Why She’s a Favorite: Joan Ferguson is the epitome of the character that you “love to hate”.  Maggie Kirkpatrick really brought the character,  portraying a sadistic but clever monster  who only occasionally showed the tiniest touch of humanity – most notably in her love for dogs, and in her relationship with her "nephew" Shane (one of the most annoying child characters I’ve ever seen).   Much as Barnabas Collins did in Dark Shadows, the character came to dominate the show, ensuring that there were very few storylines in which she was not involved in one way or another.

 

Real Name: Risetto-san

Aliases/Other Names:  Mister Resetti, Sonny Resetti, Rese T.Ado

First Appearance:  Dōbutsu no Mori (2001) (English name is "Animal Crossing"

Occupation: Game Reset Surveyor

Base of Operations:  Reset Surveillance Center

Place of Birth: Unknown

Group Affiliation:  Staff of Reset Intervention Bureau

Friends/Allies:  Raketto-san (Don Resetti), older brother

Enemies: People who reset games without saving

Height: Unknown

Weight: Unknown

Eye Color: Black

Hair Color: n/a, Fur is brown

Strength: Average

Speed: Average

Intelligence:  Average

Energy-Manipulation Abilities: None

Magic-Manipulation Abilities: None

Special Abilities: Expert digger

Special Weapons: None

History:  Mister Resetit is a mole who was born on April 6th of an unknown year, He eventually joined the staff of the Reset Intervention Bureau.  Off-work, he frequents a coffee shop known as "The Roost, where he enjoys Blue Mountain coffee with no milk and no sugar.

Why He's A Favorite:  In the game Animal Crossing and its sequels, the player-character moves to a town of anthropomorphic animals, where they purchase and furnish a home while interacting with the inhabitants of the town.  The game is tied to real-time, so that if you stop playing for three hours, then when you resume, three hours will have passed in the game. The games designers wanted to discourage players from resetting the game (since we don't get "resets" in real life) so they created the character of Mister Resetti. If a player quits the game without saving, then the next time they enter the game, Resetti will appear form the ground and berate them for resetting.  Each time this happens, Resetti becomes increasingly irate, finally becoming apoplectic. Resetti's calmer brother appears, asking the player nicely not to reset.

Of course, the problem is, Resetti's tirades are so entertaining that you become tempted to reset the game just to see what he says next.  He's a fun little guy, who is quite amusing. Plus, perhaps I can even identify with a short-tempered fellow who's just trying to do his job. Just a little.

Saitama is fun, but I really dug Mumen Rider.

The Baron said:

I know he was a parody of Kamen Rider, but I've never seen any of that show.

Real Name:  Pieri

Aliases/Other Names: Peri

First Appearance:  Fire Emblem If (a.k.a. Fire Emblem Fates), 2015

Occupation: Retainer  to  Prince Xander of Nohr

Base of Operations: The Kingdom of Nohr  

Place of Birth: The Kingdom of Nohr

Group Affiliation: The Kingdom of Nohr

Friends/Allies:  Prince Xander, Laslow, possibly others (See Note)

Enemies:  Varies (See Note)

Height: Unknown

Weight: Unknown

Eye Color: Reddish-brown (left), Green (right)

Hair Color: Blue with pink highlights

Strength: Above average human

Speed: Above average human

Intelligence: Above average human

Energy-Manipulation Ability:  None

Magic-Manipulation Ability: None

Special Abilities:  Formidable warrior,  capable horsewoman, excellent cook

Special Weapons/Equipment: Uses a variety of weapons, especially swords and lances, possibly others (See Note)

History:  Peri was the daughter of a Nohrian noble whose mother was killed by a servant when she was quite young.  Becoming unhinged, Peri  took to killing any servant that annoyed her, under the delusion that they were her mother’s killer.  Her father was aware of this, but overlooked it. In time, she left home.   Entering a tournament for nobles, she placed third, impressing Prince Xander, who was one of the spectators. He offered her a place as one of his retainers, which she accepted. (See Note regarding her subsequent history.)

Note: Fire Emblem Fates is the latest in a series of games in the Fire Emblem series. The first few weren’t released outside of Japan. However, when characters from the games were included in the Super Smash Brothers series, the games came to the attention of audiences in other countries.  It is a game with three variants , Birthright, Conquest and Revelation.  All three variants begin the same way. The player-character is Prince Corrin (although you can change her/her name if you like), who was raised by the royal family of Nohr, whose culture is vaguely Northern European.  As a young man, Corrin discovers that he is actually a kidnapped member of the royal family of the neighboring Kingdom of Hoshido, whose culture is vaguely Japanese, and with which Nohr is at war.  Corrin faces a moment of decision, in which he must choose to side with Nohr (Conquest), Hoshido (Birthright) or neither (Revelation).   Depending on which variant you play, the characters’ situations will vary.  Alliances will vary, as will characters’ final fates.  (In Normal mode, when characters die they stay dead, although you can always go back  to your last Save file.  If you wish, there are other modes you can play where death isn’t permanent.)  If you wish, you can develop characters’  relationships, and  even marry them off, with resultant offspring, who can join in the war fun.  You can play Corrin as male or female. If you play as a male, you can marry him off to almost any female character in the game (and one of the males). Conversely, if you play as a female, you can marry Corrin off to almost any of the males (and one of the females).   If you decide to marry your character off to one of their siblings, it will be conveniently revealed that your character isn’t actually blood-related to either family, although getting involved with even an adopted sibling is a little on the creepy side, if you ask me.

Why She’s a Favorite: The characters in the game cover a wide range of types - from traditional warrior heroes to a cross-dressing princeling, a skirt-chasing warrior woman and a candy-obsessed ninja.   Peri is an interesting example of the “murderous child/woman” character, not a million miles away from Harley Quinn in her lighter moments.  Deep, deep, deep down inside, Peri has a good heart, and if you decide to marry off your character to her, curbing her murderous side becomes a big part of your interactions with her.  I chose a different mate for my character. since even for a game, I’d rather not come home to “Honey, why are there bits of the mailman all over the front lawn?” Such characters sure can be amusing to read about or watch when you don’t have to deal with them in real life, however, and her interactions with the other characters in their various cut-scenes with her can be quite amusing as they try to convince that not every problem must be solved with mayhem.  Just don’t think too hard about why Prince Xander - an otherwise sensible fellow - would let someone let her run around loose all the time.

Way back when the song "Devil Woman" was quite popular. To this day, I can't look at this character without an altered version of that song's refrain flooding my mind:

"He's just a Devil Dinosaur, with evil on his mind".

The Baron said:

Real Name: Devil Dinosaur

Aliases/Other Names: None

First Appearance: Devil Dinosaur #1 (April 1978)

Occupation: Carnivore

Base of Operations: Cretaceous Earth

Place of Hatching: Cretaceous Earth

Group Affiliation:  None (See "History")

Friends/Allies:  Moon-Boy, Godzilla

Enemies: The Killer Folk, others

Height: 20'0"

Weight: 6,000 lbs.

Eye Color: Red

Hair Color: None (skin is red)

Strength: Above average saurian

Speed: Above average saurian

Intelligence: Above average saurian

Energy-Manipulation Ability: None

Magic-Manipulation Ability: None

Special Abilities:  Tough, savage fighter.

Special Equipment/Weapons: None

History: (Note: I am deliberately - and arbitrarily - ignoring the vast majority of the character's non-Kirby appearances.  From what little I've seen of them, the character was grossly mishandled. I am also ignoring the later revision that Devil existed not on prehistoric Earth, but on another planet that resembled prehistoric Earth. That said, I am still going to sample the upcoming new series featuring the character. It sounds interesting.)  Devil was a Tyrannosaur living on prehistoric Earth. As a young hatchling, he was nearly burned to death by the Killer-Folk. He was rescued by Moon-Boy, a member of the Small-Folk, and the two became life-long friends. They had many adventures together, battling giant ants, alien invaders and even encountering the time-lost monster Godzilla. At one point, Devil was transported to modern-day Nevada, but was returned to his own time.

Why He's a Favorite: Devil is another great old Kirby character. I mean, I always loved dinosaurs, and T-Rex was my favorite (as I suspect it was many a little boy's favorite), but no one but Kirby could make a character like this work as well as it did. Plus, the series was chock-full of those awesome, often concepts that other writers would have built whole series around, but which Kirby churned out a mile a minute.  You can find more of my thoughts on this series here.

I love the connections our brain make sometimes.

Churio (left) with Asahikawa Yuuma

Real Name:  Churio

 

Aliases/Other Names: None

 

First Appearance: T-Rex na Kanojo, by Sanzo (October 27, 2014)

 

Occupation: Mover

 

Base of Operations:  Tokage Apartments, Room 103

 

Place of Birth:  Unknown, presumably Japan

 

Group Affiliation:  Unnamed moving company

 

Friends/Allies:  Asahikawa Yuuma,  Kagishima Hiroya, Numano (Humans), Torika (Velociraptor), Kram (Ankylosaurus), Nowoll (Pterosaur)

 

Enemies: None

 

Height: Unknown  (slightly larger than a human)

 

Weight: Unknown

 

Eye Color: Blue

 

Hair Color: Blonde

 

Strength: Super-human

 

Speed: Average human

 

Intelligence:  Below average human

 

Energy-Manipulation Ability:  None

 

Magic-Manipulation Ability:  None

 

Special Abilities:  Fierce fighter, uses claws and teeth to great effect.

 

Special Weapons/Equipment: 

 

History: Little is known of Churio’s early life except that she has been friends with the velociraptor Torika since an early age.  She was living a feral existence when she met Asahikawa Yuuma, who took a shine to her and bought her clothing and helped he get an apartment and a job.  The two of them became quite close and spent a  lot of time together.

 

Why She’s a Favorite:  Churio is one of the two lead characters in a two-volume manga known in English as  “My Girlfriend is a T-Rex”.  The story is set in a world where the dinosaurs didn’t die out, but instead evolved human characteristics and fit themselves in to human society. It’s nonsense, scientifically, of course, but then the book make any pretense to being  serious alternate biology, the way something like A Centaur’s Life does.  No, it’s merely a pretext  for the artist to draw monster girls.

 

Most dinosaurs have fit in well to human society, but a handful, including Churio, live feral lives.(Churio is, in fact, the only feral dinosaur we encounter in the story.) When we first  encounter  her she’s living in an abandoned factory and rummaging through people’s garbage for food.  She meets Asahikawa Yuuma, a young man who is smitten with her, and helps her get clothing, a job, and an apartment. The humor of the series comes from experiences as he learns to live in civilized society.

Churio is an amusing combination of feisty, dimwitted and good-hearted, and ultimately likable.  Her relationship with Yuuma is interesting, also. He’s a (mostly) reformed delinquent (He’s not above handing out the odd beating if he perceives a threat to Churio.), who’s alternately entranced  and terrified by this dino girl who is a good deal tougher than he is.

 

My Girlfriend is a T-Rex is an example of the “monster girl” genre, one which seems to be popping up a lot lately.  Typically, the male protagonist has one or more non-human love interests, and the humor involves their interaction and the culture clashes that occur between them as they learn each other's ways. I haven't really read any of these before (I’m not counting  A Centaur’s Life, since everyone in that is non-human , so that there’s no “culture clash” in that, per se, and instead, the interest comes from learning about the culture the author has developed.

 

The other characters include Torika, a flirty velociraptor who is an old friend of Churio’s and who keeps a number of human males on the string, getting them to buy her gifts; Kagishima Hiroya, an old classmate/victim of Yuuma’s who becomes smitten with Torika; Kram, an ankylosaur co-worker of Churio’s, who has trouble expressing her emotions; and Nowoll, a pterosaur, who is the bratty, two-faced son of Yuuma and Churio’s landlady.

 

It is curious to note that Nowoll is the only male dinosaur who is more than a background player, and the only named human female appears in a flashback to Yuuma s high school days, a girl who refused to go out with him because he was a thug. Mostly, it’s all male humans and female dinosaurs.

The humor is gentle, and mildly amusing. With a certain amount of slapstick derived from Churio not knowing her own strength (or caring all that much), or of her not being aware of the effect she has on people. (She gets her apartment cheap because there are rumors of a dangerous feral T-Rex living in the area and the landlady doesn’t make the connection that Churio is  the T-Rex in question.

 

This is an “all ages” book, and perhaps because of that, sex never rears its ugly head.  Yuuma’s relationship with Churio is purely emotional.  They have a great deal of affection for one another, and each is shown to  get jealous when they think the other is paying attention to someone else (On one occasion, Churio spits on Yuuma to put her scent on him – and we are quite grateful for that “all ages” label at that point!) The only time they sleep alone together that we see, she snags him to use as a bedwarmer, and his main concern is not that he might be molested as it is that she might crush him in her sleep.  The closest thing to prurient activity in the book is when Torika speaks of receiving a gift for sitting in one of her “boyfriend’s” laps, but we don’t see or hear of her (or anyone else) doing anything more than that.

 

I gather that this relative lack of sex – or even of innuendo- is not usually typical of  these “monster girl” stories, but it’s all to the good, as far as I’m concerned.  I’m fine with emotional relationships between humans and non-humans, but physical relationships are a little too out there for me – who takes that kind of an interest in a different species?  I suppose you could imagine someone looking at a dino-girl and thinking, “If only all of her was human!”, but that’s as far as I would go. Never did want to know what –if anything –Howard the Duck got up to with Beverly Switzler.

 

As it is, Churio spends the first part of the first volume wandering around naked, and Yuuma and Torika both simply give her shirts to wear. No one takes note of the fact that she and the other dinosaurs all go around bottomless (unlike, for example, the centaurs in A Centaur’s Life, all of whom wear pants.) It seems that as long as the “human” parts are covered, then it’s all good.

 

Speaking of “human parts”, Churio is drawn to have what appear to be what we used to call “gigrantic” breasts. (All the.female dinosaurs are shown to have breasts, but Churio’s are especially noteworthy.) She’s also the only one we see topless.  While there are plenty of the traditional “strategically placed objects in the foreground”, we see enough on more than one occasion to note that she is drawn without nipples. I can’t decide whether this represents the artist avoiding trouble with the censors, or acknowledging that as a dinosaur, and therefore a reptile, Churio wouldn’t have them, and that her “breasts” are mere evolutionary mimicry.

 

Overall, it’s an entertaining story, and some amusing situations and sweet moments.  It’s funny. If you take out the dinosaur nonsense, it’s the story of a guy falling in love with a homeless girl, and helping her get off the streets. As it is, the humorous elements keep it from becoming melodrama.  I will avoid playing Junior Freud and speculating as to what, if anything, this spate of stories that presents girls as exotic, inhuman creatures with strange ways who must be taught “civilized” behavior might mean psychologically.

 

All in all, I found Churio to be a fun character, and the story to be an amusing, lightweight piece of entertainment. The art is good, if not especially distinctive. The characters are at least drawn distinctively enough that you aren't constantly asking yourself "Who is this again?", which is a problem I've encountered with more than one manga, and the writing is good, too. The humor tends a bit towards "standard manga humor", but is done well enough that I found it enjoyable.

Fascinating. Never in a million years would I have guessed that there is a “monster girl” genre. (And I’m with you on the “interspecies romance” angle.)

Real name:  Unknown


Aliases/Other Names: Otako

First Appearance:  Oshiete! Galko-chan , by Kenya Suzuki, ComicWalker 27 June 2014  (English name "Please Tell me! Galko-chan")
 
Occupation: Student
 
Base of  Operations:  Unnamed high school, Japan
 
Place of Birth: Unknown, presumably Japan
 
Group Affiliation: None
 
Friends/Allies:  Galko, Ojou
 
Enemies:  None
 
Height: Unknown, on the short side
 
Weight: Unknown
 
Eye Color: Brown
 
Hair Color: Black
 
Strength: Below average human
 
Speed; Below average human
 
Intelligence: Above average human
 
Energy-Manipulation Ability:  None
 
Magic-manipulation Ability:  None
 
Special Abilities: None
 
Special Weapons/Equipment:  None
 
History:  When the classmate she nicknamed "Galko" (See Note) attempted to befriend her, the high school girl who would become known as "Otako" initially rebuffed her, believing it to be condescension from a "Gal". However, when Otako's period arrived during classtime, Galko  saw this and helped Otako discreetly get to the girls' room.  The grateful Otako accepted Galko's friendship as genuine, and the two girls bonded. Galko accepting her nickname and her friend giving herself the nickname "Otako".   A third girl, sent by the teacher to see what was keeping them, requested a nickname as well.  Otako and Galko, each thinking that the third girl was a friend of the other, complied, nicknaming her "Ojou". The three girls subsequently became fast friends.  
 
Why She's a Favorite:  Please Tell me! Galko-chan is the story of the friendship between three high school girls - the bookish, cynical Otako, the fashion-conscious. top-heavy Galko and Ojou, a good-natured if somewhat air-headed rich girl.  Each chapter of the manga addresses a question regarding either high school life or female anatomy.  Otako likes to tease Galko by asking her mildly suggestive questions just to get a reaction out of her, and the story sometimes gets into the kind of conversations that leave me wondering "Do actual girls have these kinds of conversations, or are these just the kinds of conversations that pervy readers like to imagine them having?"  (The nature and size of female breasts comes up fairly often.)  

That said, the writing is typically fairly engaging, and the characters are well-rounded and fun to read about.  There is some service, but there is more to it than that.The friendship between the three is believable. Otako, Galko and Ojou are all likable.  In general, I'm a sucker for stories where characters from disparate backgrounds become good friends (Truth be told, underneath the wackiness and cynicism, the Baron is something of a sentimental mushball.).
While I find all of the main characters entertaining, Otako is probably my favorite, possibly because I find it easy to identify with a bespectacled, nerdy, bookish, smartarse who likes to provoke people but is actually quite grateful to have good friends.
The art on the series is quite good, the style suits the characters and the tone of the story, and it manages to avoid being "cookie-cutter" manga style.  An anime has been done, but I've only seen short bits of it on-line.
 
Note:  All of the characters in Please Tell me! Galko-chan go by nicknames that reflect their personalities, no real names are given.  
Of the three main characters, Otako's name is a combination of otaku and "ko",  

"Galko" combines "Gal" and "ko". "Gal" is an anglicization of the the word "gyaru", which is itself a japanization of the English word "girl".  Gyaru refers to a subculture of girls and women in their teens and twenties who are obsessed with fashion and beauty.

"Ojou" means "young lady", in the sense of a prim and proper young woman.  

 

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