The anime world is filled with all kinds of characters. Some are always super positive, even though their lives haven’t been easy in any way, shape, or form. Some are naturally talented, and some are just perpetually grumpy. But what about split personalities? I don’t mean characters that have a whole other being inside them – Naruto, for example. No, this list will focus on those who, later in life, developed this other personality for whatever reason. Or those who were born with another personality.
These characters tend to be very interesting in the way they interact with other characters, especially (and usually) the protagonist. They are just fun characters that tend to have a sad past, or something that helped birth this other persona. Sometimes the reason isn’t explained, but seeing how the various personalities are different from each other, and how they coexist, is interesting. Now without further ado, here are the characters.
1. Hatsuharu “Haru” Sohma from Fruits Basket
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Fantasy, Shoujo
The first one is Hatsuharu Souma, from Fruits Basket – Haru, for short. Haru is usually calm, and cool, if a little dense at times. Maybe it’s more like he views the world in a different way than others. He comes from the Souma family, who has been under a curse for decades. Specific members of the family will change into one of the animals from the Chinese Zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite sex that isn’t under the same curse as them. Haru changes into the Ox, and has learned to deal with it like most of the other members under the curse.
Like I explained, Haru is usually very calm, but there are times where he isn’t, and that’s when he turns into “Black Haru.”
This other personality is foul-mouthed, perverted, and prone to violence. Black Haru usually comes out when Haru – or “White Haru” – is frustrated or angered. Also seeing someone he cares about being mistreated is a way to trigger Black Haru.
One example is when his cousin, Momo Souma, who changes into the Rabbit, was being told he couldn’t wear the girls’ uniform of his new high school. The Class President was being very adamant with his demands and Haru got angry, bringing out Black Haru and traumatizing the Class President a little bit with what happened next. Which was to prove that his two-toned hair color was natural by taking the Class President to the bathroom and, in some way, proving to him that yes, that is his natural hair color. And if you can’t figure out how he did it, then good for you.
Even though Black Haru is more aggressive, he still cares for his friends and certain family members. Changing personalities doesn’t mean he changes how he feels for them. It just means he changes how he reacts to situations, and in a way, is more confident to speak his mind in certain situations even though White Haru is no pushover.
2. Launch from Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT (kind of)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Super Power , Martial Arts, Fantasy, Shounen
The second character is Launch (or Lunch?) from Dragon Ball and sequels.
Launch is a very fun character that I was sad to see appearing less and less as the series progressed, until she was basically forgotten. When Launch changed persona, her hair color changed from blue to blond and vice versa.
Some rumors about why she was slowly disappearing was because her change was a bit too similar to the Saiyans transforming into Super Saiyans, in that when they turn Super their hair color changes to blonde, and in some way their personality changes, becoming more serious.
When the “Good Launch,” which is the blue haired one, sneezes, her hair changes to blonde and she becomes the “Bad Launch.” The blue haired Launch is sweet, innocent, and pure-hearted, since she can ride the Flying Nimbus with Goku.
Blonde Launch is more aggressive, arrogant, and prone to shooting people with her machine gun. Her nose is very sensitive so she can change personalities at the slightest irritant, like dust, pollen, and pepper.
While neither persona seems to remember what the other one had done while in control of their body, they are aware that there is another personality and that they change when they sneeze. But as the series progressed, blonde Launch’s time spent with Goku and his friends leads to her changing for the better. She becomes a bit more caring towards her new friends, and Launch overall seems to be able to remember what happens when the other Launch is in control since both remember when Krillin dies during the King Piccolo saga, and cries.
In other words, she is like Haru in the sense that she is aware of her other personality, and cares for her friends, like the next character on the list.
3. Akito, Agito, and Lind Wanijima from Air Gear
Genre: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Shounen, Sports
The third character is Akito/Agito/Lind from Air Gear. When writing about Akito/Agito, it can be pretty complicated. If I’m referring to just the anime, then there are two personalities that are presented – Akito and Agito. But if we take the manga into consideration, then Lind is also another personality to be mentioned. More precisely, Lind is the original personality, but for certain reasons he went into hibernation, waiting for his body to reach matureness before he can fully function. And thus Akito was born.
From Akito there came Agito. Both are like night and day – a trait shared among most split personalities in these characters. While Agito is rude, violent, and crude, Akito has a more childish and peaceful personality. In fact, Agito was born in order to protect Akito, whom was being trained to be the new Fang King and hated the fact that he had to hurt people, among other things, since Akito is a pacifist.
Both are aware of each other, and care for one another. Agito, while more dominant in the use of the body shared with Akito, is willing to sacrifice himself for Akito’s sake at a moments notice.
The way they change switch is also quite interesting. And like Launch, the change is caused by an outside action. Launch changes when she sneezes, which she has no control over. Akito and Agito change when they move their eye patch.
The way to identify the current personality in control is by the location of the eye patch. When the eye patch is on the left side, it’s Agito, who has fanged teeth and slit pupils. When the eye patch is on the right side, it’s Akito, who has normal pupils. They each can willingly change the position for the other to come out, if and when necessary, unlike with Haru, who has no control of his anger and can’t keep Black Haru from taking over.
4. Seijuro Akashi from Kuroko no Basket and sequels
Genre: Comedy, Sports, School, Shounen
Seijuro Akashi is former captain of the Generation of Miracles, his high school team, and later Team Vorpal Swords. He is a character who isn’t used to losing, and was the only one who could reign in the Generation of Miracles.
From an early age, he was taught that winning was everything. The winners gained everything in life, while the losers had nothing. With that mentality came the fact that he was also very talented. Despite being the shortest member of the Generation of Miracles, he was confident and physically strong and smart, meaning he could keep up and even surpass them on some levels, until one day, when one of his teammates challenged him and Akashi almost lost.
Before that, Akashi had already started to feel that he was being left behind by his teammates’ growing abilities. Playing a one-on-one game, and realizing that his fears were true and he could lose, caused the “other” Akashi to be born, activating the Emperor’s Eyes for the first time.
While the original was commanding, but also respected his teammates, calling them by their last names, and valued teamwork, the other Akashi didn’t. They both did respect their teammates on a certain level, and had faith in their abilities, but the other Akashi was condescending, arrogant, and ruled with an iron fist. He called his teammates by their first names, and would get violent if someone opposed him, almost stabbing Kagami with a pair of scissors for disrespecting him. He would go to extreme measures to assure his win, telling his high school teammates at one point that if they didn’t win, he would gouge his eyes out and they knew he meant it.
The other Akashi became the dominant personality, and you could tell them apart because this personality had his right eye red and his left eye yellow/orange, while the first personality had red-maroon eyes. Akashi’s other personality had served coordinated team plays, but when his Emperor’s Eye was defeated by Kuroko and Kagami’s teamwork, the original Akashi was reawakened.
Akashi’s original personality was actually stronger and more dangerous. He also boosted his team’s morale, making them all play better than when the other Akashi was in control, but they still lost. Losing for the first time in his life hurt Akashi, but he was able to accept it, and promise he would win next time without his other personality taking over.
5. Shiro from Deadman Wonderland
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Shiro is a very innocent, and playful girl who loves sweets. She has a very pure outlook on life, and love. She cares deeply for her childhood friend, Ganta, and tends to be very naive. But when she was a child, Shiro was experimented on, and tortured. She cried out to Aceman – a superhero that both her and Ganta loved – and Ganta to save her. When no one came, the Wretched Egg (or the Original Sin), was born.
When Shiro is her normal and innocent self, she wears a full white body suit with red markings. She has a playful smile and talks in a very childlike manner. She also tends to have a hard time understanding difficult situations, but she is physically very strong and has fast regenerative powers.
When Shiro changes into the Wretched Egg, she dons a tattered red cape, a mask that covers the top half of her face – leaving only a wicked smile showing – and has red protective armor. This attire makes her look like Aceman.
The way the Wretched Egg takes over, is when “The Lullaby” – a song only Shiro can hear – stops playing. This song keeps Shiro’s power under control, sealing the Wretched Egg.
This personality differs from Shiro in that she is vicious, merciless, and cruel, not flinching or hesitating in killing others. An example would be in the very beginning of the series, when she killed everyone in Ganta’s classroom, and implanted the red stone in Ganta’s chest, giving him the “Branches of Sin” abilities. Ganta was blamed for killing his classmates, and was sent to Deadman Wonderland, where he reunited with Shiro after years of separation.
Like the previous characters with their second personality, Shiro’s Wretched Egg is more violent than the original. But unlike Akashi’s other self, who can also use the Emperor’s Eye, Shiro herself can’t use her Branch of Sin all that well, at first being unaware of her ability and later having a very limited use of it.
In the manga it goes deeper into their relationship, and later they fuse together, their personalities combining and forming Shiro’s true self. They both love Ganta, each in their own way, but Shiro’s true self had the Wretched Egg’s grim mind-set.
All these characters have a different way their alter egos manifested. Launch is the only one that appears to have been born with her second personality. Shiro and Akito had their second personality born after being tortured, or forced to do something painful for the original personality. Haru and Akashi weren’t really tortured, but their family situations – especially Akashi, who feared the possibility of losing – brought it out of them.
They are all interesting in their own way, and seeing how the second personality affects the series – both Akashi and The Wretched Egg are main villains in theirs, for example – is essential to how the story moves forward. Unfortunately, the only character that could be written off completely, without the story being affected much overall, is Launch, but she was still a fun and interesting character. Plus another female character who could take care of herself and wasn’t a damsel in distress. (Chris Edit: Par for the course in Dragon Ball. The women of that series are the ones really in charge XD)
Well, I think that’s all I have for today. I’ll eventually make another list about multiple personalities, so if you enjoyed this one be on the lookout for more!
Remember to have fun and be careful of honey badgers.