Digression of Fools

So I was getting a haircut today when my reflection whispered back, “…as significant as a strand of hair on my head, doomed to a fate of being cut off by hairdressers eventually and ultimately forgotten and ceasing to exist.” I watched in horror as tiny bits of my soul were snipped from my head, falling to the floor only to be swept and dumped with the rest of the garbage doomed to rot in landfills until there is not a trace left. I turned my gaze forward once more, meeting my own doomed, tear filled expression with mixed horror… And then…

No, actually I had a fantastic haircut and thankfully the hairdresser didn’t pull any “April Fools” on me. Whew. Unfortunately, I’ve been without hot water since last night, and had to take a ice cold shower this morning. In my miserable attempt to get clean without contracting hypothermia, I brought several kettles of hot water into the bathroom… That distressed suffering had better suffice for this unofficial holiday. In the mean time, I was considering the literal fools, especially the characters that feature significant roles in many of our favorite series. I find the character archetype interesting due to their endearing and naive natures. In many cases, they feature as the main focus of the story. Examining a few, I decided to go with:

Akihisa Yoshii

Yoshii is arguably the most clueless out of all three of these characters. He’s the quintessential fool. Nothing bad will happen to him because his strength comes from supernatural fortune. During the first few minutes of episode 1, he fails the most important test in school to escort a girl who feinted to the nurse’s office. This sets his character up for a lot of the theme “I’m in a terrible position, but for all the right reasons!” Throughout the series he ends up performing great feats such as saving the entire school from meltdown by sneaking through top security systems and battling one of the toughest opponents in school to reconnect a power cable for the battle system. Why would the character who has a diet of saltwater and 1/64th Ramen Noodles be the hero? Because he’s an incredible guy. He also manages to get the cutest and smartest girl in the school.

Kamijou Touma

While Touma could be argued for or against the classic archetype of “The Fool”, he represents many of the essential qualities. Touma is commonly mocked for thinking before he acts. Without hesitation, he leaps into battle for justice and usually ends up winning the fight, but also being hospitalized in the process. He sticks strictly to his morals and constantly tries to correct his mistakes. Ultimately, he consistently puts a smile on everyone’s face. What makes him special is an unexplainable gift called “Imagine Breaker”, which can defeat any ability, esper or magic in nature. The Imagine Breaker also ends up landing him in trouble, as he constantly blames it for negating his luck as well. Even in the face of ultimate misfortune, he ends up defeating his foes and attracting the endearing love of middle schoolers, nuns, and girls alike.

Hirasawa Yui

Aha, adorable~. I’m not a huge fan of K-On but I can’t help but feel light of heart with a character like this. She’s absolutely naive, innocent, and lively. She never gains weight when she snacks on delicious desserts. She doesn’t get good grades, but when tutored she performs well. She doesn’t make much of a house keeper, but she puts every ounce of effort into practicing guitar. While The Fool archetype typically involves a character that defeats all odds for unexplainable machinations resembling Rube Goldberg contraptions of fate, Yui can actually be considered hard working. She comes off as the main character (though with a show like K-On that can be debated) and it’s not hard to see why. Wouldn’t we all love to be so carefree and gentle?




So what is it about these characters that they can warm our hearts with comedic relief and innocence? When it comes down to it, I think it has to do with the realities of life. Rarely can you achieve a goal easily, or find good providence at every turn. Much of our thoughts and behaviors that we exhibit as children fade away as the stresses of life and independence strike us mentally and physically. Part of why I love anime so much is due to the fact that I can still be a kid again. I can spend some time in my day escaping from whatever was bothering me and watch cute girls do cute things or stress-free guys defeat all odds. Who wouldn’t want to live that kind of life?

With all that in mind comes the “holiday” of April Fools. Today is the day where we pay special attention to our friends and loved ones to throw logic and socially acceptable behaviors to the wind in the act of pranking and joking. Our antics are silly, but our intentions are pure and light-hearted like The Fool incorporated in many of our favorite stories. If you’ve been pranked, or were planning a prank, remember that it’s probably because you care a lot about that person, and want to elicit a smile. Today as a caring day masked by jovial behavior. Make the best of it!


About Anima

"You know, when you're standing on the platform at the station, don't you have things that cross your mind. Like, what would happen if you jumped?"
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18 Responses to Digression of Fools

  1. TRazor says:

    Sunohara from Clannad and Isaac & Myria of Baccano! get my vote.

    And let’s not forget all the male harem leads. They’re all fools.

    • Anima says:

      All of them indeed. Poor, lucky fools.

      I totally forgot about Isaac & Myria, but I’ve also not seen all of Baccano! yet to be fair. I should wrap that series up some time soon! Haven’t seen Clannad either, but was planning on starting it with a close friend of mine this saturday. Woot!

      • TRazor says:

        You’re in for a real treat in both cases. Although they are absolutely nothing similar.

        Clannad is more comedy, slice-of-life and romance while Baccano! is an over-the-top mayhem filled ruckus that will you have you at the edge of your seat.

        I recommend you watch the latter with the friend and the former (with subs. do NOT watch the ENG dub) alone. I watched both alone…Like all the other anime 😦

        (BTW those reviews are one of my earlier works and my writing and reviewing style has changed a lot since then)

        • TRazor says:


          Hopefully, I didn’t screw up the HTML again. If I did, then my apologies ^^”

          • Anima says:

            Cool! Thanks for the recommendations and review. 🙂

            • afkeroge says:

              You do not watch Clannad with other people. I repeat, you DO NOT watch Clannad with other people. I cannot stress this enough. Watching it alone is the best way to enjoy it. Especially Clannad: AS.

              • Anima says:

                Normally I would agree, but this friend of mine is one of the few that I can actually watch serious or emotional anime with. 90% of the time when I try to share something really touching, it gets mangled by shared viewing. It should be fine. 🙂

  2. Marina says:

    Nice entry to go in hand with today’s date 🙂 I agree with TRazor that the Baccano! duo, Isaac and Miria, are probably my favorite anime clueless pranksters.

    Are you familiar with the Shakespeare’s fools? Despite the ‘fool’ title, they often also are the mouths of wisdom. In between all the babble and tomfoolery, occasional words of sense and warning can usually be found, if only those around them would listen (ex: The Fool in King Lear). I was sort of hoping you might go that direction in your post :p

    • Anima says:

      That’s a good point. Sadly, I haven’t read much Shakespeare since high school, but I do know what you mean. Though to be fair, I don’t think Yui or Yoshii brought out any wisdom so far in their series. Touma could be taken for his values though. 😛

      Thanks for the tip!

  3. Valence says:

    Akihisa Yoshi’s main trait is that he is the biggest fool ever. That’s the whole point- that he is so stupid it’s hilarious. Not to mention how oblivious he is, as seen by the end of season 1.

    And regarding harems, i don’t think they are fools per se, but rather a kind of innocent, clueless leads. Cluenessness does not necessarily equate to stupidity. Their cluenessness is always a setup for sexual hijnks and humor, rather than to be a character trait.

  4. MkMiku says:

    Interesting post. Now that you’ve made me think about it, anime wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without all the fools in it. Although I’d say I prefer the moe innocent fools over the “I’m gonna rush in and do something crazy!” ones.

  5. baka~ says:

    It’s all fun and games until someone breaks a finger or two… or so the saying goes

    The strong point of foolish protagonists is that they always live a care-free life. They are the sore thumb that stand out from the norm, the loner that the non-loner society condemns and yet, from the viewer’s perspective, they are someone to look up to and to admire because their sense of logic, no matter how naive or faulty it may be, is the purest of intentions and desires. Take for instance, the transformation of Emiya Shurou’s principles when he became Archer in Unlimited Blade Works (let me assume that in this day and age and your being an anime fan, you at least have info about fate/stay night). Shirou was a fool in so many ways that he can be very annoying especially for the lead heroines (except for Sakura) and Archer, his future self, has ‘grown up’ from that foolishness. But when they fought each other at the UBW arc, why was it that Archer lost despite his years of experience and magical capacity? Seeing his foolish past self struggling against all odds, did it awaken some distant memory from the knight clad in red? That no matter how naive and conceited he was back then, he, Emiya Shirou, fought as hard as he could for the right intentions, for the purest desires.

    As you already mentioned, we can all escape our worries while watching anime and this made me realize that perhaps, most viewers are like Archer especially those grown up anime fans. Seeing how hard it is to live on the world, maybe, deep inside, we are all searching for that pure intention that we once had to simply keep us going.

  6. ~xxx says:

    Sayaka was also a fool and same goes to Mami in Puella Magi…

    But you know, I like fools who win the war…

  7. kluxorious says:

    Yui is just obnoxious man. In real life, she’ll get bullied like there’s no tomorrow.

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