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Old 2016-06-07, 20:54   Link #1
Eisdrache
Part-time misanthrope
 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Different personality and character growth

I'm looking for a show in which the main character only wants to live his or her life like they want but is constantly forced to act differently, be it due to social image, family heritage, nobility, and so on. Over time the MC not just learns to deal with that but also grows up as a person. Character development should be a central aspect.
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Old 2016-06-08, 20:28   Link #2
arachni42
Member
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
The World God Only Knows is the epitome of this. An asocial video gamer sees real life as inferior to the gaming world, but he's forced to romance actual girls. He has to act very differently than he wants in order to achieve this goal. (And actually, romance is a means rather than an ends -- he needs to help the girls grow and overcome their doubts/fears.) It starts out as an affectionate parody of dating sim tropes, but over time the main character certainly grows himself, particularly in the third season.

Another one I think of is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Kyon just wants to have a normal school life, but that plan is thrown into chaos by meeting a girl who has the power to warp reality. Lots of bizarre stuff happens, but through it all the characters bond with each other and undergo change.

This is a significant element in various incarnations of Sailor Moon; the girls have one foot in high school and the other in saving the world. My personal favorite is the live action version, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. In that version, I'd say it's Sailor V who goes through this specific type of character growth the most.

I would count Evangelion as well (the main character mustn't run away), but it's a bit more... abstract?
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Old 2016-06-08, 21:08   Link #3
BWTraveller
Azure Dragon reborn
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Texas
I'd add Hyouka to the list, since, like Haruhi, the guy is being dragged around and forced to change. In this case he wants to be "energy-efficient", doing nothing unless absolutely necessary and making quick work of whatever is necessary; then he meets and is grabbed by a girl who can't stand not looking into things that make her curious, and insists he help her figure these things out. He does indeed gradually change to the point that he may finally be learning how to be a bit proactive.

Also, Star Ocean EX has a similar situation. Claude, the MC, accidentally activates a device that sends him on a one-way trip to an unknown planet where he's soon labeled by a young lady as the "legendary hero" destined to save their home. He has no interest in being some great "hero", and makes it quite clear that his only goal is to find a way off their planet, but gradually he changes to better fit the mold (even as, ironically, his status and the reality of the legend start to become a little less credible).
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Old 2016-06-10, 15:13   Link #4
kitten320
Senior Member
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Age: 26
Hikaru no Go if sport counts. Hikaru does not want to do anything but is forced to help a ghost to play some Go games. Eventually he gets really into the game himself and grows as a character.

Hyouka, MC can't be asked with anything.

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai, MC just wants to play games but gets involved into something and now his life is changing.

Seirei no Moribito, young prince is forced to live a life as a commoner but eventually grows as a person.

Senjou no Valkyria, one of the characters is forced to serve with someone of different nationality that she hates, racist.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, MC is forced to play a piano once again, even though he completely gave up on it and does not want to play any more.

Tales of the Abyss, MC is a self centred prick prince who gets involved in something big.

Working! - one of the main characters hates men but ends up working with one of them and needs to learn to co-operate.
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Old 2016-06-11, 09:55   Link #5
SeijiSensei
AS Oji-kun
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Worrying about our relievers
Age: 66
Reading kitten320's list makes me think Junni Kokuki ("The Twelve Kingdoms") fits your request. The main character starts off as a doormat iincho character who is whisked off to a fantasy world and discovers her true fate. Youko is often cited in discussions about characters with enormous personal development like the ANN link below.

Kurenai might be another option. The main character is a 16-yo "dispute mediator" (aka thug) who becomes responsible for the protection of a seven-year-old kidnapped heiress. Both of them grow because of the experience.

In Noein young Haruka is a nice middle-schooler from Hokkaido who discovers she sits at the nexus of a war between two "parallel universes." Sometimes it seems she accepts her fate a bit too easily, but she, and her friends, do grow from the experience.

Mirai starts off as a prototypical whiny middle-schooler at the start of Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. When she is stranded far from home with her younger brother because of an earthquake, she begins a journey that will change her life.

You might find this thread at ANN of interest: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/....php?t=1528796
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