I’ve been looking forward to this day since this whole challenge started. It’s an easy answer for me, really. No one else compares to how similar this character is to me at all. He does everything the exact same way I would do in those same situations. He has the same talents, and the same competitive drive. Everything, really, is exactly the same. He is…
Mashima Taichi (Chihayafuru)
Until I watched Chihayafuru, I had never really resonated that well with a character. Some of them would have similar traits, but would differ in some major way. This would mean that I couldn’t completely relate to them. Not with Taichi. Taichi is pretty well exactly as I am, except that he plays Karuta. That’s pretty much it.
As a character, Taichi is nothing special, at least to begin with. A somewhat bright student, he gets where he needs to by working hard. He only really has one gift: he has a good memory. Not overwhelmingly godlike good, just above average. He enters the series as a proud young kid, only to be bested in the elementary school Karuta tournament by the prodigy, Wataya Arata, and his best friend, Ayase Chihaya. He even cheated to try to gain an advantage, a mistake he hasn’t made since.
When he enters high school, he is reunited with Chihaya and they form the Karuta club, which goes on to perform at a national level. Taichi is definitely not the best player on the team. No, that position belongs to Chihaya. However, he is the best leader the team could ever ask for. He trains them hard, rewards hard work, doesn’t overwork them, and, most importantly, doesn’t make excuses. In fact, a major part of Taichi’s character is to never begin a sentence with “but”. He says people should save their excuses until after they’ve tried. This is a philosophy I’ve held for years, if not my whole life, and it helps define me as a person.
Taichi also suffers from horrible luck. Every time a game comes down to luck, with exactly one exception, Taichi loses. But you know what? Even then he doesn’t make excuses. He claims he should have never let it get to that point. I have no luck whatsoever, my DOTA team mates can vouch for me on that one.
Finally, Taichi doesn’t take any freebies. One time, he is offered a position in class A as a result of his bad luck. He doesn’t take his time in answering “no”. He knows he has to earn it, and that no one should be given a free ride. That is a trait I very much share with him. I would absolutely decline as well.
If I had a video to show you guys, I would. Unfortunately, Chihayafuru is not popular enough to have a lot of clips floating around on youtube. Just watch the show. Trust me, you’ll enjoy it.