Saturday, November 27, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Characters, Number 1: BOTAN!!!!

Botan: the overlooked character. So Botan is that cute little pig of Kyou’s that appears in Clannad every once in a while. It’s cute and clever and sometimes spontaneous, making it a great little pet to have around. Botan’s a great minor character and all, but that’s it, right? It doesn’t really mean anything other than that…….right? Well, I hate to inform you, sir or madam, but you are completely WRONG. Botan is something much more than just a cuddly little boar running around in circles. However, most of you have failed to see what Botan really represents. You’ve gazed right past this character multiple times, telling yourself that you’re satisfied with a simple “Puhi!” here and there. But now you’ve forced our (typing) hands. Everybody posting here can agree that Botan is something more than what is on the surface. That’s exactly why Botan is the #1 character in all of Clannad.
I think Botan can be a representation of the human race as a whole, even though Botan isn’t even human. Botan’s just an animal. Maybe we’re all just animals, though. Botan can show us the faults and follies of people overall. Botan easily represents the simple-mindedness of a majority of the human race, how there are those who will take orders without a question, regardless of what values the orders may compromise. Botan can represent those who will not listen to reason, no matter how good the reason is. Botan can hold a grudge, like when he won’t go near Ryou because of a simple mistake on her part. It’s obvious that Botan’s doll trick is another crack at the human race. People are very fake. People try to act like things they aren’t, maybe to be accepted or to try and trick others. We all know what it feels like to have these attributes, so it’s not hard to see at least a little bit of ourselves in Botan. Of course, I’m not saying Botan is our bad human nature curled up in to a fuzzy ball. Botan definitely shows positives aspects of us also. Botan shows how some of us are able to think intelligently and become more than what most expect. I mean, really, Botan’s just a boar, but he still has more ability than most animals have. Again, Botan’s not just some random comic relief character. He’s much more than that. So I have to ask that the next time you watch Clannad, consider all of this, and try to find a bit of yourself in Botan.

There are many wonderful characters in Clannad.  Each one is unique and brings something more to the show; each one adds something and builds Clannad into what it is.  Putting together my top 10 favorite character list for Clannad was difficult.  By the end of my decision time, my paper was an almost illegible puzzle of cross-outs and arrows.  It was hard to choose and number off all the unique and special characters in Clannad.  I struggled.  There was only one spot that wasn't hard for me to fill; that was the spot of number one.  I didn't have to choose my favorite character, all I had to do was write him down. From the moment I met Botan, I connected with him.  Something about him touched me in a way that no one else in Clannad was able to.  Botan's loyalty is awe-inspiring.  The simplicity of his fidelity to those he cares about is stronger than anything else in Clannad.  The makers of the show demonstrate their true ability in their creation of Botan.  In this small and seemingly insignificant animal, the essence of Clannad is shown.  Like the simple and deceivingly unimportant storyline of Clannad, the story of a boy and a girl falling in love, the story of a small animal, of Botan, is one that captures you and opens your heart in ways that you didn't think were possible.  This is why Botan is my favorite character.  This small animal quietly and unobtrusively draws you to believe that there is something more magical, more true, and more real to life.  It is Botan's care, love, and loyalty that make this possible.     

Well, folks, here comes that time. The top, favorite, utterly best character in Clannad, at least according to our informal poll. Well, if you read the title of the post, I suppose you already know the decision that's been made, so it's not much use trying to surprise you. Honestly, though, you shouldn't be surprised anyway. I know that I wasn't. Botan is seriously one of the best things that ever happened to the show.

Before that little piggie came along, the show was missing huge things. It was missing the non-human element, the roly-poly element, the element of the poor, peaceful "puhi! puhi!". Not only that, but it was missing an edible element. Nobody in their right mind would think of making a Fuko roast, but a show without a socially edible character is only half a show.

Enter Botan: a character who is plump, cute, and would make a spectacular stew--

OW! Watch where you're throwing that book, woman!

I'm going to end this post with the simple and remarkable fact:   Botan is the best thing since bread (regardless of whether he's been cooked or not). Why? Well, for many of the same reasons that my fellow posters think he's awesome: his love, loyalty, and courage in the face of danger (Sunohara, anyone?) are worthy of our admiration. You try going a day in Botan's hooves before Ushio shows up and you'll agree. Botan is the most inspiring, loving, sweet, and human  character in this entire show. Especially when he's in stew.


A special thanks to all of those who helped me write out this incredible series of articles. Your hardwork and dedication to the greatness of Botan cannot be understated. Thank you.