***As if the title didn’t already tip you off, be prepared for major SPOILERS!!! ***
I have a rather large collection of anime on my shelves, but if there is one thing I learned pretty early on it was not to blindly spend my money on a show that I haven’t seen or watched to the end. My experience has been that while the first few episodes might be great, never expect the rest of the show to follow suit or, in a few cases, even follow the same plot or genre; others just end on sad or tragic notes because anime has never followed the Hollywood trope of happy endings. That unpredictability is actually what interested me in the format to begin with since I was getting bored with the whole “happily ever after” cliche that Hollywood churns out. Of course, that in itself is a double-edged sword. While some endings hew towards happy or bittersweet, others took that factor to its extreme conclusion and just went all-out batshit insane.
Several times I got burned when I purchased a show that was great for almost the entire run of the show only to quickly descend into an absolute clusterfuck in the last episode or two. As a result I have made it a point to never drop a dime on a show that I haven’t already watched from beginning to end (and if you’re curious why I would buy something I’ve already seen, it’s to support the industry – and my crippling habit to collect things).
I’ve often pondered what an anime series could have been like had it focused on one of the more interesting secondary characters rather than the actual boring, milquetoast or irritating lead. There have been a few instances where I’ve watched a really good anime series but felt it could have been so much better had it given us one of the other characters as the main protagonist instead of the one we were actually given.
Let’s face it, there’s nothing more annoying than when the spotlight is on the sub-par character rather than the guy you’d much rather follow. Besides, in addition to the side character being the more interesting character, the main protagonist usually gets all the girls’ affection or praise while the cooler character gets none, which just bothers me since in real life it should totally work the other way around.
Watching Tokyo Ravens this season reminded me of this notion. Don’t get me wrong, main protagonist Harutora Tsuchimikado isn’t a terrible lead, but in my opinion his best friend Touji Ato is clearly the more interesting character. What would the show be like if he was the main character instead?
This got me thinking about what other shows picked the wrong lead character and who in my not-so-humble opinion should have been the main character instead.