The Ideal Anime/Manga Cast

So what's going on here? This was something concocted by Yerocha over at Shades of Grey, and I'm joining in to give it a shot. Basically, the idea is to form a cast of characters...seems simple, but holy crap is it tough to deal with an open-ended prompt. It has never been my strong suit, but I want to try. I wasn't sure how to approach something like this. I don't exactly research tvtropes or anything, so I decided to go with chess pieces for my cast. My original ambitious goal was to create a cast for each color on the board (which was almost successful), but I don't want to bore people with a tediously long list of characters. So let's just keep it simple.


Traditionally, the rook is depicted as a castle, a defender of the fortress. In practice, the rook is an incredibly powerful piece capable of locking down entire files, so I see it as a more long-ranged specialist. Basically, I see it as a piece standing at the walls, taking out enemies as they approach.

So for this, my choice is Train Heartnet from Black Cat. With his insane vision range and experience as an assassin, he's definitely a solid choice for a long-ranged specialist. He can even bust out a railgun if he needs to finish the fight quickly. He can probably fend off incoming attacks fairly easily with his Orichalcum gun Hades too.


Ignoring the religious implications of the piece, the bishop is capable of slipping diagonally through the board and cleaning up, so I see it as an assassin type or just a sneaky type (I'm going to hell for saying that >.>). In chess, a bishop can glide across the board if you're not paying attention and seal the game.

So introducing our bishop, Shiki Ryougi from Kara no Kyoukai. With her trusty knife and the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception, Shiki can kill basically anything instantly, making her perfect for slipping through defenses and taking everything out. I don't know if there's anything she can't cut down to size.


The knight is fairly straightforward piece. It acts as a loyal warrior out in the heat of battle, so I'd label it a close-range specialist. In the game, the knight is an incredibly versatile piece, able to gain great strength from good positioning and support. This piece also has one of the most limited movement ranges, hence the close-range thing I said before.

This honor goes to a personal favorite, Hajime Saitou from Rurouni Kenshin. Saitou fits versatility like no one else, having trained with his signature technique Gatotsu to the point where he needs no other techniques. But he's not just any killing machine, he strictly adheres to his own personal code of Aku Soku Zan.


This is a tricky piece. The queen is basically the ultimate piece in chess, a powerful combination of bishop and rook.

It's hard to find a character as overpowered as the queen, but my choice goes to Arcueid Brunsted from Tsukihime. Able to come back to life even after having her lines of death cut, she's basically the closest you can get to immortal. She can also make basically whatever she imagines come become reality. Hard to be more overpowered than that.

Black King

The king is another one of those simpler pieces. As the weakest and the most important piece on the board, the king is typically seen as the strategic head of the game. Although lacking in power, the king has the leadership to lord over the other pieces.

A pretty obvious choice for me. No one suits the king better than Lelouch vi Britannia of Code Geass. A strategical master, Lelouch can easily use every piece to its fullest potential to get to his goal. But being smart isn't enough as the king. Lelouch also has the charisma to give his orders and strategies meaning, making him a dangerous foe. And if that doesn't work, he's always got the Geass to help him out. The character was practically designed to embody the king.

So that's what I got. Just for completion sake, I want to point out that I also thought of using Shichika Yasuri as a knight, Sumeragi Lee Noriega as a king, and Hei as a bishop, but as I said before, there's a point where the number of characters just becomes excessive. You may also be thinking "you left out the pawns, Marth!" That was also intentional...the pawn is a weird piece for me. I could probably think of a few characters that would work, but the role just seemed too demeaning for me to pin on anyone.

Also, if my list was cool and you want to see more, or if my list was lame and you want to find a better one, you should check out the others who have decided to participate in this. You could probably even make a list for yourself.




Kai over at deluscar


Oasis Crossing

  • Yerocha

    May 9, 2012, 1:29 a.m.

    I remember learning quite a bit about chess when I was younger, but I never thought quite so much about what each piece represents. I particularly like your choice of Saito as the knight, since his versatility is one of his strongest points.



    May 9, 2012, 8:25 a.m.

    I've always liked Saitou's character. He always seems to be able to get out of any situation


  • Kai

    May 9, 2012, 6:41 a.m.

    As for me, I like your choice for bishop. Ryougi Shiki is indeed an epitome of "assassin". Her weapon of choice does that justice, and with her mystic powers, she can easily kill everyone and everything in one hit. An "assassin" indeed.

    Lelouch as a black king is also another great choice. I'm curious what would you choose for white king though?



    May 9, 2012, 8:28 a.m.

    I had originally thought to make her a queen, but the bishop role suits Shiki so much better.

    Well, for white king, my thoughts were either Sumeragi Lee Noriega from Gundam 00 or Gai Tsutsugami from Guilty Crown...I figure they might be able to give Lelouch a hard time.


  • Judge

    May 10, 2012, 3:57 a.m.

    Love your choices of Knight and King. I'm a huge Saito fan, have a figure of him and got it signed by his English voice actor, Kirk Thornton (did an interview with him if you're interested...shameless self promotion :P).

    As for Lelouch as King, I would just add a small bit. The King piece is very vulnerable, much like Lelouch vulnerable in the sense that he's physically "frail." Just thought I'd point that out. Sumeragi would have also been a good choice. If you saw Majikoi, the protagonist Yamato Naoe is also a brilliant tactician



    May 15, 2012, 4:14 p.m.

    Ahh yeah...Yamato...forgot about him. Definitely a fine choice as well.


  • Foxy Lady Ayame

    May 14, 2012, 5:27 a.m.

    This is a very clever idea you've got here! I think using chess as motif for the ideal cast is very unique and refreshing. Then comes Snippet tee's idea about idols.

    Unfortunately, since I don't know the anime you've chosen, I can't really comment on them. But if I have to follow your idea, I know I'd place Goemon from Lupin for bishop and Kendappa-oh from RGVeda as Queen. The King would be Nakago from Fushigi Yuugi (he's such a manipulative person). I can't think of the rest that easily... :/



    May 15, 2012, 4:16 p.m. you're making me feel unfortunate because I don't know the shows you've chosen. Still...the choices I made weren't the easiest in the world either...really had to ponder them to get them right.


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