adventure time

Anime and JRPG tropes in Adventure Time

Let me take you on an adventure through the wonderful world of character archetypes. Instead of doing a regular post, this is going to be a bit of a weird format. I’ve been looking at anime and JRPG tropes and I’ fairly sure that these transcend the origins of the content. There will be Moe’s melting hearts and Tsundere’s definitely not being interested in you, even in a show like Adventure Time, which I’m sure many of you have experience with. Getting in to it, I’m focusing on female archetypes, as these are the most established, not to mention that the fanfiction episodes turn the male characters into females for analysis there.

Flame Princess: Type B – Yandere

Flame Princess fits a Type B Yandere. Type B’s generally work in the opposite direction of the typical equivalent. The core element of a Yandere is the violent switch. Usually this is done in defence of the sanctity of their love interests, however while Flame Princess’ switch is tied to Finn, it is not done in defence or against other interests, but as a result of her interactions with Finn and the effects he places on her. This counter to the norm puts her as a Type B. Yandere’s are often associated with obsessive girlfriends which creates drama, but is more subdued in Adventure Time.

Princess Bubblegum: Type A – Tsundere

Tsundere is one of the more common archetypes. Unlike a Yandere, the switch is to the ‘dere’ or loving mode. When not interacting with their interest, or not acknowledging it, they will aggressively decline the notion of being interested. Princess Bubblegum is more complex to be a solid Tsundere, however she does have a general sense of potential interest in Finn, but that is held back by her outward neglect of voicing any feelings involved.

Lumpy Space Princess: Type A – Kuudere

Kuudere is a broad archetype as it covers all manner of the ‘aloofness’ that defines the trope. LSP exhibits her ‘Kuu’ qualities outwardly switching to a ‘dere’ around certain characters that happen to break the barrier to make her interested in them. She is caught up in many of the elements that define various lesser ‘dere’ subtypes such as the princess complex Hamidere. LSP’s personality in terms of romance is heavily tied to the concept of ‘the switch’. This refers to the interactions that flip characters from their personality type to the common ‘dere’ archetype and is integral to this method of character definitions. Each character gets two sides of a coin to flip between.

Marceline: Type A – Dorodere

Taking the above concepts, Marceline fits as a Dorodere, referring to her tendency to vamp out on people because of her ‘condition’ as a vampire in certain situations.

Tree Trunks: Type A – Dandere

Danderes are the shy people that open up more around people they care about.

Finn/Fiona: Deredere

A Deredere is much like the control to build the archetypes off. They are always in the loving stage and generally the one type that make good main characters by liberty of the un-type nature of Deredere. This is also why Derederes do not have Type A or Type B.

The Champion of Justice

If I heard the name Kotono Mitsuishi a week ago I wouldn’t have bat an eyelid. Today, however the name means so much more. For those of you who don’t recognise the name I’ll give a little description. Mitsuishi is a 46-year-old voice actress who lives in Tokyo, Japan and is famous for providing the voice of our favourite crime fighter – Sailor Moon.

Now although I consider myself a long time fan of Sailor Moon I had never watched a Japanese version until recently. The voice I remembered from my childhood was whiny and slightly deeper than the voice Mitsuishi provides. It was also extremely American. After watching the new improved Sailor Moon Crystal (of which Mitsuishi is revisiting the role) I’ve realised that Mitsuishi is Sailor Moon.

To watch Mitsuishi transform into the character is something to behold. In the video above, you see her talking to the crowd normally. She seems courteous and polite. There is even perhaps a hint of shyness to her stance. However as soon as she begins to talk as Sailor Moon her body transforms. She is no longer Kotono Mitsuishi – she is Usagi – champion of justice and fighter of evil.

Now Sailor Moon is not the only character Mitsuishi has voiced – just the most famous. She has provided her voice for over 90 separate characters ranging from guest starring roles to major characters. It’s interesting to note that Mitsuishi has only been involved in one Western created cartoon within television or film. It would be interesting to learn why she chose to have a guest starring role in the Japanese dubbed Adventure Time. It could be that creator Pendleton Ward has mentioned a number of influences – one of which being some of the works of Studio Ghibli.

It seems fitting that the first anime I remember watching is connected with the first anime voice actor I have come to know. I have now watched two episodes of the new Sailor Moon Crystal and am immensely enjoying watching Mitsuishi’s Usagi come to life. I have found myself feeling more connected to the character now than I ever did before and I have Kotono Mitsuishi to thank.