Just a minor topic tonight, but I wanted to state where I stand on the whole issue of defining garness in anime characters. I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem to start and stop at classifying characters who scream at the top of their lungs as gar. That’s all fine and good and usually it’s a pretty popular and easily discernable trait among characters who are considered to be gar, but I don’t necessarily consider it to be the sole defining trait of a gar character. In fact it’s not even the secondary trait I associate with garness. No, the primary trait I associate with garness is heroism.
Simple things like using ones manly strength for the benefit of the weak and helpless, knowing how to be a gentleman when the ladies are around and proving a good role model for children who want to make something of themselves. These are the primary traits of a gar character to me. The true gar character in otherwords is one who puts the interests of others before his own. That leads me to the secondary trait that a character has to have for me to consider them gar.
This is that the character exhibits a strong belief in the principles of justice. Showing awesome force is good and all, but visiting upon villainous and amoral characters the solid taste of their own medicine for preying on the weak and innocent is where a character truly becomes gar. He deals the harsh punishment of a fist to the face or a stoner sunshine to the mechasaurus with equal measure to which the villainous unleash their schemes for world domination on the epic scale or just generally exhibit their vices in front of them on the everyday life scale. The gar also character has no tolereance for cruelty and injustice, but he also never abuses whatever strengths he has, be it impressive martial arts skills or the ability to pilot a kick ass super robot. He knows where to draw the line when battling whatever problem he is trying to solve lest he lose his moral compass and become the villain himself. Should the villainous realize the error of their ways or seek to right their own wrongs after being shown the way of the gar then the gar character has seen justice prevail. He can then be satisfied with a good look off into the sunset and a smile on his face without ever having to lift a finger or raise his voice and still be considered gar.
Now we hit the tertiary traits like showing passion with loud screaming, being muscular, having a ridiculously overkill weapon etc. Also being voiced by the patron saint of gar lovers everywhere doesn’t hurt either. And there you have it, my personal criteria for deciding who gets to be called gar. For the reasons above I’m also able to classify my garest character of all time as well. Bet you didn’t see this one coming:
Gai Shishioh: Garest Character Ever
By the way, if there’s actually one legitimate reason why I would be really pissed off at Sunrise, it’s not because of anything they did or didn’t do in Code Geass or Gundam 00, it’s because they’d rather make endless numbers of Mai Hime spinoffs instead of giving the public another Gaogaigar OVA. Sunrise gotta pay what it owe someday……