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Old 2022-01-01, 09:00   Link #1
0cean
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Anime with mature protagonist that no longer undergoes character development

I'm a bit tired of anime repeating the same clichés and same character development.

Are there anime with older protagonists that have already finished their character development?
I can only think of ..
  • Golgo 13
  • Cobra
  • Vampire Hunter D
  • Koukaku Kidoutai Stand Alone Complex
  • Hyoubu Kyousuke
  • Mononoke
  • Katanagatari
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Old 2022-01-01, 10:09   Link #2
Mazryonh
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There's Inuyashiki, that features an old male protagonist. Or is the protagonist's age not really the factor here?
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Old 2022-01-01, 11:54   Link #3
0cean
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Age isn't the important factor, the mindset of the protagnist is. In Inuyashiki the protagonist is still all whiny and goes through the usual character development of making it from zero to hero.

I'm looking for anime where the protagonist is finished with character development and doesn't (need to) change anymore. He should know what he wants and be resolute to take steps to get it.
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Old 2022-01-03, 10:59   Link #4
SeijiSensei
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Bartender
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
Vinland Saga
ODDTAXI
Claymore
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Old 2022-01-03, 16:29   Link #5
0cean
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How do you figure that Vinland Saga, an anime about some whiny brat that grows up fits into a request of no character development? Claymore anime kinda fits, but then in the manga the protagonist goes through character development.

Bartender works as far as I remember. Tried to watch it seven years ago, but it was too boring, so I dropped it. Same with Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, which I technically am still watching, but after the first episode I lost all motivation, since it is too generic.

Going to skip Odd Taxi because of the furry content, but thanks for your suggestions!
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Old 2022-01-06, 10:37   Link #6
SeijiSensei
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The whiny brat stays a whiny brat throughout. I expected some development on his part but didn't see any. That's why I incuded it.

Avoiding Odd Taxi because of "furry content" is a mistake of the highest order. Probably my favorite show of 2021.

Kai Byoui Ramune might also qualify as the good doctor doesn't really show much development during the series.
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Old 2022-01-06, 11:48   Link #7
0cean
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That might be true, but I am looking for characters that are finished with character development, not whiny brats in urgent need of it. Might not have made that point clear enough, though.

Everyone has different taste. I'm currently into shows where the protagonist reincarnaes or travels back in time and Chinese cultivation stories got my back there for a while, but know that I've read about 30 of them with nearly identical plots (most of which I liked) I'm having trouble finding more. Which is why I made this topic, which is a description of those stories from another perspective.

Anime reincarnation and time travel stories are not the same, by the way. In the Chinese ones, it's always some incredibly old cultivator going back. And since cultivators live more or less forever, that means hundreds or thousands or even millions of years old. But in anime you never get that type of character. It's mostly boring horny teenage boys with the odd exception here and there, i.e. Youjo Senki, but even then it's someone less than 50 years old.
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Old 2022-01-06, 14:09   Link #8
Tenzen12
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Went through whole list and picked ones that I remember.

Ruorni Kenshin
Devil May Cry
Alice no Zouroku
City Hunter
Witchblade
Angolmois
Golden Kamui
Trinity Blood
Black Jack
Ghost in the Shell
Canaan
Cowboy Bebop
Dorodehoro
Fate Zero
GARO -VANISHING LINE-
Hellsing
Jormungand
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Lord El-Melloi II-sei no Jikenbo
Blade of Immortal
No Guns Life
PlanetES
Seirei no Moribito
Trigun
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Old 2022-01-06, 16:17   Link #9
0cean
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Thanks, I'll give Angolmois, Garo and No Guns Life a try. The rest I already watched.
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Old 2022-01-07, 10:42   Link #10
SeijiSensei
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For an adult protagonist, maybe you should give Thermae Romae a try. It's a comedy about a Roman bath designer who is magically transported to modern day Tokyo and back. There's a second animated version of the story coming out on Netflix later this year, and the live-action movie adaptation is pretty decent, too.
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Old 2022-01-07, 11:31   Link #11
0cean
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Already watched, but it's not really my thing.

I never really could get into anime whose target audience are (also) females. My sample size is around 400.
Last one I tried was Otome Game no Hametsu Flag since it ticks a lot of boxes of what I like, but again, it doesn't really work for me.

Also, I'm not looking for merely an adult protagonist. I'm looking for a mature protagonist who does not need character development anymore. Someone with a certain indifference towards life, that could turn around and cooperate with his mortal enemy as long as it brings more benefits than not to cooperate. Someone like that who is not motivated by emotions would be ideal.
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Old 2022-01-12, 00:44   Link #12
AndrewR5D4
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I prefer to see some development for characters, especially protagonists, but I do have a few ideas for you.

Ainz Ooal Gown from Overlord is single-minded and cruel in equal measure. He's an "evil" protagonist whose core qualities keep the story moving because there is no enemy around capable of challenging him. He doesn't need to develop much because there's nothing forcing him to re-evaluate his methods and actions.

There's Abel Nightroad from Trinity Blood: A Crusnik (vampire-eating monster) who's lived for centuries, but went through Hell in the past, and exists in a war-torn post-apocalyptic future. He seeks to guide the world to a peaceful future amidst the continuing war between human and vampire. His own experience and wisdom is helpful to the other characters.

A more recent one would be Souma Kazuya from Realist Hero. He's young, but has a highly rational and open mindset. Rather than become a traditional Isekai hero, he uses his financial skills and charisma to improve the Elfrieden Kingdom, and seeks out talented individuals to help solve the problems plaguing their society. He is one to recognize talent, does not hold grudges, and knows how to utilize the skills of his vassals to improve the lives of countless people.
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Old 2022-01-12, 11:31   Link #13
0cean
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Thanks, I already watched the first two. Since there is a second season for the last, I'm waiting for the BDs to come out and then watch it.
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Old 2022-01-14, 16:59   Link #14
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Probably already watched Classroom of the Elite then? I thought Maou Gakuin no Futekigousha and Sekai Saikou no Ansatsusha was good, and falls under the "reincarnation" aspect, but not sure if it falls under the "same cliches" ideal as well.
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Old 2022-01-15, 16:50   Link #15
0cean
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Yes, I also tried reading the LN, but the official translation is unfortunately butchered, so it wasn't fun to read.

The other two I've got bookmarked, but I do not have much hope as for the cliches. Youjo Senki was the last anime that positively surprised me in this aspect and it's been like five years since that one came out.

Also, I do not have anything against the concept of cliches at all.
I'm just so very, very tired of the specific cliches that get repeated so often in anime. Like a loner learning the value of friendship or learning that your enemies are living things, too. Or the whole ganbatte thing. Etc. etc.

Meanwhile, I'm having a blast with Chinese cultivation stories and I feel that cliche isn't a strong enough word to describe their similarities. They are basically carbon copies. But the protagonists kill people they do not like without second thought, and if someone really offended them, they kill their entire bloodline, too. Even people who are completely unrelated to the conflict. Even children. And it's just so refreshing to have protagonists not give a single fuck. The very best of those are where the protagonist is evil himself. You get the same stories, but from a different perspective, which is also very interesting. But not in the sense of the typical anime approach, where the Demon King is the good guy who tries to live in harmony or whatever. No, the progatonist in those, upon meeting a new person, will first think whether he should kill that person or not, considering which will benefit them more.

Anyway, enough rambling. Bottomline is I'm so very tired of the typical anime cliches of everyone wanting to live in harmony.

PS: Even that spider anime managed to waste the potential of the source material, by not telling part of the story from the spiders perspective, but from the stupid idiots that the source material was making fun of in the first place.
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Old 2022-01-17, 18:46   Link #16
kari-no-sugata II
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I wasn't going to comment since the original request was for anime, but since we've already gotten a more general discussion going on here I'll throw in my two cents...

I think any medium or category can become boring due to over exposure. I sometimes get bored with Japanese manga or anime and pretty much stop reading/watching for a while. I've not come across interesting new WNs lately either.

I've been reading quite a few Korean and Chinese works lately. Some have been truly excellent and/or fun. That said, some tropes have already gotten exceedingly dull. In many Chinese works in particular the antagonists can be really cheap and boring.

Overall, regardless of the medium, or origin or setting... I'm looking for interesting characters and an interesting story. It's nice to see a range of options, as just getting the same sort of thing again and again does get dull. I've no problem with morally ambiguous characters or ones who don't necessarily get much personal character development - relationship development or ability development can be interesting changes as well.

To take an old example - Lina Inverse from Slayers. When someone has a motto like "bad guys have no [human] rights" and treats bandits like walking loot boxes, that can be rather fun. I don't find "edge lords" to be fun but someone who is harder to predict or more willing to go to extremes can be more interesting than someone with very rigid morals. Lina Inverse doesn't change much really and I never felt it was a problem for the story.

Character development can be plenty of fun too, when done well. One of the best series I've picked up in the last year is Kubera, a huge epic fantasy. There's major characters in that story that are billions of years old and for sure they're rather set in their ways but they can still get some development. There's a 1000 year old character who's been an antagonist for most of the series but lately he's been getting a lot of character development and it's been very interesting.

But is character development necessary for a good MC? Nope. A relatively new series I particularly like is "The Return of the Crazy Demon" and the MC has been been just as much of a troll in the latest chapters as he was in the first chapter. Sure, his circumstances has changed but he's such fun to watch that I don't want him to change in terms of personality. If it ain't broke, don't fix it
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Old 2022-01-18, 15:09   Link #17
SeijiSensei
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Lina Inverse doesn't change much really and I never felt it was a problem for the story.
Like Lina Inverse, I don't think the characters in the Lupin III franchise have shown much development over the years either (leaving aside the Mine Fujiko spin-off). I think they all fit the request.
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Old 2022-01-18, 17:26   Link #18
kari-no-sugata II
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Like Lina Inverse, I don't think the characters in the Lupin III franchise have shown much development over the years either (leaving aside the Mine Fujiko spin-off). I think they all fit the request.
Well, it doesn't help that the TV anime of Slayers is rather on the silly side and Lina herself is obviously still quite young. The original novels are a lot more serious. I think Lupin does fit the intended brief a lot better.

PS I was surprised to find out recently that the author has started writing the Slayers LNs again after an 18 year gap.
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