The Great JRPG Character Face-Off!

Hello dear readers and welcome to a very special post here on Shoot the Rookie! Why is it so special you ask? Well today marks the launch of The Great JRPG Character Face-Off – a community event devised by myself and the wonderful Winst0lf from The Winst0lf Portal. Why not read on to find out what this is all about and how to get involved!

JRPGs have been close to my heart for many years. If you have read my blog before you will probably have picked up on this, as I can regularly be found eulogising about the genre on these pages. There are many elements of JRPGs that I love including the stories, settings, music and battle systems they offer. However, for me it is the characters that are the crucial element and these games often present us with characters that stay in the heart and mind long after the game is finished.

This collaboration came about as a result of a year’s worth of conversations between me and Winst0lf about a specific character – Persona 5’s Morgana – who Winst0lf wrote about in last year’s Blogger Blitz competition. When he later told me that Morgana would be in his top 5 JRPG characters list I needed to know who the other four would be, but why stop there? We now want to know who everyone’s top 5 JRPG characters are!

So how does it work? Well today me and Winst0lf will be revealing to you our top 5’s. I’ll be doing this in just a sec and you can find Winst0lf’s right here – so make sure you check out both! After revealing OUR 5 favourites we will be asking YOU to share yours, and then compiling a mass list to showcase the favourite JRPG characters of the community as a whole.

To kick things off then, who are my top 5 JRPG Characters?

*Beware Spoilers*

Oerba Yun Fang – Final Fantasy XIII

Hard as nails and sharp tongued as they come, you mess with this lady at your peril. Whilst it is easy to be intimidated by her, Fang’s devotion to the protection of her best friend gives us a hint that she does have a softer side, even if that devotion sometimes leads her to make pretty dramatic decisions. Throughout the course of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, Fang develops from an uneasy ally to an important friend who lights up the games with her no nonsense attitude and quick wit. Although she would undoubtedly be hard work to befriend, she is the one person I would want in my corner and for all these reasons and more she has become one of my favourite JRPG characters of all time, not to mention my favourite character from the Final Fantasy series!

Yuri Lowell – Tales of Vesperia

Is it ever OK to take a life? What if it will save countless other lives? Can it ever be an acceptable form of justice? What if someone asks you to kill them for the greater good? What if you sneak away from your comrades in the middles of the night to kill a bad guy and hide his body? Is that really OK? Well, these are complicated philosophical topics that I am not going to delve into here, but what is of note is that Yuri makes us ask all these questions. He is pretty far removed from your stereotypical video game hero and even though he often has what you might describe as just motives (protecting the common people, vanquishing evil, delivering justice etc), his actions themselves are still pretty shocking. For much of the game he is a morally ambiguous, cynical character who disguises any warmth he may feel for his comrades behind sarcasm and jibes. Whilst he may not sound like a character you can easily love, his edginess combined with his determination create a compelling character who you can root for even if you may not agree with his actions.

Ryuji Sakamoto – Persona 5

It was a struggle choosing a Persona 5 character for this as they are all so awesome, but by a whisker Ryuji is my favourite. He is an angry and rebellious teen who has suffered at the hands of adults and wants to get his revenge whilst helping to make the world a better place. Wearing his heart on his sleeve at all times, you see him struggle to contain his emotions and he often takes things too far, sometimes with terrible consequences. I will admit that there were times in the game I found him difficult to like because of this, but to only see him in this light is selling him short. He is very determined and really wants to make himself a better person, he comes across as someone who cares deeply about his friends and family and he is often simply a funny and likeable young guy. This combination of traits serves to make him a very sympathetic and understandable character, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of him and what he achieves in the game.

Lora – Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna the Golden Country

As I look at the characters I have chosen for this list it occurs to me that Lora is a bit of an odd one out. She doesn’t have a difficult personality or make me question my moral compass. She is just lovely. I think down-to-earth is the most appropriate way to describe her. As a young girl she comes into possession of a great power, almost by accident. After living on the run, she eventually gains the recognition of the people and devotes herself to protecting her country from the evil that threatens it. She is strong and determined but undertakes her mission with a smile on her face. She has a very genuine personality and seems to have the ability to talk and listen to anyone. She makes you feel like she would always have time for you, no matter who you are. The fact that I like her so much is made all the more powerful when you realise that from the start she is against insurmountable odds and that there is no way her story can have a positive ending. That such a lovely character can have such a tragic story is simply heartbreaking and only serves to bring her closer to my heart.

Yashiro Tsurugi – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

If you read my blog regularly then you may well already know a thing or two about Yashiro. He was one of the characters I wrote about in last year’s Blogger Blitz competition, and has long been one of my favourite characters. Like several of the others on this list, he is not a traditionally likable person. In fact he can be pretty darn rude, dismissive and unfriendly. However, his development throughout the game casts him in a different light and explains why he is how he is. He has experienced great personal tragedy which has left him alone in the world and he has never had the chance to experience the real power of friendship. Because of how hard he works, he is very confident in his own abilities as an idol, and yet he is depicted as vulnerable in other ways. As he starts to understand his own weaknesses you really see his character grow as he eventually accepts that friendship is worthwhile, and that only through the bonds of friendship can he become the best person he can be. I find him inspirational, believable and sympathetic. I love his songs and admire his talent. He is quite simply best boy.

So that is my five, and don’t forget to check out Winst0lf’s HERE. But now we’ve shown you ours, we want to know YOURS! We want to get as many people as possible to tell us who their top 5 JRPG characters are. We will then put the results together and publish a master list. To make this easy for you, you can tell us however you want! If you are a fellow blogger then we’d love it if you’d write a blog post all about it – that gives you the chance to explain your reasons in detail! I know many of you are not bloggers though, so alternatively you could tell us on Twitter (@pix1001 and @Winst0lf), or comment on one of the posts. If you can, please let us know by August 30th 2020 so we have time to compile the final list. I can’t wait to see who you all come up with and who will make the community’s top 5!

And that dear readers is your introduction to The Great JRPG Character Face-Off. But who will win? To find out I need all of you to submit your top 5’s, so get your thinking caps on and if you have any questions let me know. I can’t wait to see your answers and to reveal to you the results of The Great JRPG Character Face-Off!

Thanks for reading,

Pix1001 x

35 thoughts on “The Great JRPG Character Face-Off!

Add yours

  1. I unfortunately don’t have time in my schedule to make bigger blog posts, so I’ll put my top 5 here if you don’t mind!

    1. Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy IX) – A goofball with a heart of gold, that is also my favourite main protagonist from the Final Fantasy franchise!
    2. Shirley Orlando (Trails series) – I could pick a lot of characters from the Trails series, but I just love Shirley a lot. Her tombyoish behaviour with a slight spoon of Psycho added makes her an excellent love-to-hate character, yet also hate-to-love!
    3. Velvet Crowe (Tales of Berseria) – Technically Spada Belforma from Tales of Innocence is my favourite JRPG character ever, but he’s from a japanese-exclusive game so I’m hesistant to include him. Regardless, Velvet is definitely my favourite main protagonist from the Tales series, and who also made Berseria an even better game all by herself!
    4. Reimi Saionji (Star Ocean: The Last Hope) – My favourite character from the Star Ocean series.
    5. Uzume Tennouboshi (Hyperdimension Neptunia) – Normally I’d put Neptune here since she’s literally the mascot of my site at the moment, but as a character I like Uzume a lot more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d love to do an entire blog post about this, but I’m not sure I have time! Sad face. Miss blogging.

    BUT HEY, I can still take part! So:

    5. Balthier from FFXII. He’s the dashing hero, after all!
    4. Robo from Chrono Trigger learns how to have friends, how to make up his own mind, and how to sacrifice for others. The guy spends centuries tending a forest while all his friends can just time travel to the end in an instant! What kind of dedication is that?!
    3. Lance from Pokémon counts as a JRPG character, right? I mean, you’re just hanging out being a kid saving the world, then this guy shows up with his awesome dragons and… actually still lets you do most of the hero stuff. Good parenting there, if you ignore that a more responsible adult would probably just have got you right out of that Rocket base.
    2. Gwyn, Lord of Cinder from Dark Souls is one of the most tragic characters I can think of. He’s not a favourite in the sense that I’d wanna hang out with him, but his story is beautiful and heartwrenching (if you can be bothered to read all the item descriptions to understand it).
    1. Roxas from Kingdom Hearts II is my pick for The Characters That Define Us (I assume that post is still gonna be published at some point!). He should never have existed, and everyone tells him how worthless he is, but he finds his own purpose and meaning anyway. What a legend. Also, he can kick your ass.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amazing! Thank you so much for taking part (and, like how quickly did you think of that list?! It took me about 3 months!). I really hope your piece gets published – I have been looking forward to reading it and I’m sure you have been looking forward to other people reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful list. I totally love Zidane as well! Thank you so much for taking part (and for putting your list together so quickly!), I’ll give you a shout out in the results piece 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad to hear! Unfortunately my schedule now doesn’t allow it but if I get the chance, I’ll definitely make it into a full list later on with a more detailed summary about why I love these characters so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 1. Yukiko Amagi (Persona 4) – I really enjoyed her personality and spending time with her and saying goodbye at the end of the game was quite emotional!

    2. Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII) – partly nostalgia for the hero of my first ever JRPG but I still love the way he opens up and learns over the course of the game.

    3. Lucca (Chrono Trigger) – she’s just really cool! Design, actions, everything

    4. Kanji Tatsumi (Persona 4) – I wish they’d followed through more fully on some aspects of his story, but the incredible sweetness in Persona Q would be enough to get him in on its own

    5. Makoto Niijima (Persona 5) – see Yukiko but a bit less so. I guess I like Priestess arcana characters a lot! (although I’d pick Mitsuru over Fuuka in P3)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Let’s see my top five would be:

    5. Aerith from Final Fantasy VII (Remake specifically), who has a great level of sass and looks so cute when she cusses! Also she is one of those iconic character that is known troughout the world!

    4. Mallow from Super Mario RPG (Back when it was made by Square I am pretty sure it counts as a JRPG)
    His struggles were real but so was his optimisn , he was so much deeper than you would think from a mario game. A great representative for cute characters that can be amazing.

    3. Arche Klein from Tales of Phantasia, this little pink witch really touched my heart with her cute little story! The racismn she endures and the sadness she experiences really hit for me and she has some great comedy moments in her series as well. She also has a very cute implied romance as well! Great character in a great game.

    2. Rise Kujikawa from Persona 4. I love having an Idol girl in my persona games, and even though she isn’t all that playable in the main game she is a great support character there and those deserve some love as well! Since then she has also shown she is a capable fighter in Persona Arena Ultimax. I also appreciate her immense and in your face honesty! While she is an Idol girl she rarely is not open about her true feelings and just so sociable.

    1. Frog from Chrono Trigger. The fact that when you asked us to tell our top 5 a tune began playing in my head right away says enough how much I like this character. Never do I really like the theme of blind loyalty and valour in a character but Frog ‘s journey to me is one of the most fleshed and present stories in any JRPG, even though he is a frog you can just feel what he is feeling. The choices that he can/has to make during a playtrough of Chrono Trigger is so amazing! Any Chrono Trigger character could easily be in this top 5 ..but I used a one per franchise rule and Frog to me is the unquestionable number 1


  8. Fabulous choices! Thank you so much for taking part! It’s really nice to see Squall on the list as I know FF VIII got a bit of a mixed reception but I’ve always loved it!


  9. Great choices! Thank you so much for taking part! I haven’t played the FF VII remake yet but I’m excited to see what they’ve done with Aerith 😀


  10. I wish I could do a post for this, but I don’t think I’ve played enough JRPGs to have enough variety (all my picks would be from Persona 5 honestly)… All I know is that Ryuji Sakamoto is number one, always! Glad to see him on both yours and Winst0lf’s lists.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you so much for reading! I meant to say in my article (but forgot!) that even if you’ve only ever played one JRPG then you could still enter, so if you wanted to do a Persona 5 only list I would welcome it (especially if it means more votes for Ryuji, hehe!). It doesn’t need to be a blog post if you don’t have time, just a simple list here would suffice 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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