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Anime Character Types

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[ alien babe l android l angel l anthromorph l artificial life form l avatar l bishonen l clone l Crossdresser l cursed l delusions of powers l demon l demon hunter l dimensional being l djini l full cyborg l gadgeteer l gadget-equipped l ghost l ghost buster l god/goddess l hardsuited l high school club l human agent l idol star l immortal l intelligent animal l lecherous/hentai l living video girl l living toy/inanimate object l magical girl l martial artist l mascot l mecha pilot l mutant l normal l partial cyborg l priest/priestess l prince/princess l reincarnated being l rich l space cop l special forces l super intelligent l scientific accident l superstrong l time traveller l vampire l witch l wizard l zombie l other possibilities? ]

The following is a list of types of characters you might want to play, with examples from anime and a few other sources for reference. You are by no means limited to the following list, which is not meant to be comprehensive. If you have a particular idea for your character then you should try it, with the gamemasteržs approval of course. However, a list of possibilities is always a good place to start, and therefore this list is presented to give you some ideas. Please note that many of the examples combine more than one of the following... ie. Sasami is a Princess as well as an Alien and, in some incarnations, also a Magical Girl. Yohko is really not just a Demon Hunter, but a Magical Girl as well. Urd is a Goddess but her magic is very similar to that of a Witch. Feel free to use your imagination.

Alien Babe This is almost the entire premise for TFOS. Lum is probably the prototype, but this also applies to Benten and a half-dozen other characters from Ursei Yatsura, as well as Ryoko of Tenchi Muyou. Of course, there are Alien Hunks as well, of which Tenten (Ursei Yatsura) and Tenchi (Tenchi Muyou) are not necessarily prime examples. Basically your character comes from another planet and may have special powers or gizmos as a result.

Android Armitage and her sisters and brother are all type 3 robots -- so cleverly constructed that they have independent thought and will. The idea of a self-aware robot has been alive in science fiction for a long, long time. Each of the first two Alien films had Androids in them. Your character may be an artificial, non-organic person; a self-aware robot, perhaps like C3PO in Star Wars, Data in Star Trek, the Terminator in T2, or even Ifurita in El Hazard (the OVA series). Do you have a soul? Your consciousness, such as it is, may be very easy to download to new bodies... the de-facto villain in Ghost In The Shell is really a computer program looking for a body. Key the Metal Idol is another excellent example of an Android searching for her soul and what it means to be human. Sharon Apple fromMacross Plus is a good example of an Artificial Consiousness which isn'treally confined to one body, although stored in one. (thanks to Reptile for that comment.)

Angel Your character is an Angel, one of the winged humanoids who serve the Almighty. You have special powers and are charged with specific tasks and goals, such as doing good or watching over a particular person. Your powers and status may be revoked if you fail to accomplish the goals set before you. This is similar in concept to the characters in Ah! My Goddess, and there are many parallels in western movies, television, books and comics, (Touched By An Angel) but I can't at the moment think of a good example in manga or anime. Nevertheless, it's an obvious option.

catreece Anthromorph An anthromorph is a humanoid with animal features, such as the characters in KO Century Beastketeers. Your character should exhibit some aspects of the animal's features and disposition, but would otherwise be an intelligent, thinking person. Perhaps you are merely an alien descended from another evolutionary branch (the cat-like vedic of the Intergalactic Police in Tenchi Muyou are a good example), or you might be the results of genetic engineering, or an unusual mutation (several superheros, such as Beast of X-Men, come to mind).
Actually Blackbird has reminded me that some western comics are good examples of anime-style anthropomorphics. He cites Albeedo and Gold Digger as prime examples, but I might just as easily point out Reality Check, Usagi Yojimbo, and the old Fusion comic (if you can find it). All excellent comics and excellent examples of anthropomorphic characters. Reality Check and Gold Digger have especially strong anime influences.

Artificial Life-Form Ryo-Ohki and Ryoko of Tenchi Muyou were constructed by the mad scientist Washu, who is herself an artificial life-form. Your character may be similar -- an organic humanoid who has been genetically designed and constructed from the ground up. You may have human dna or may be partially crystalline-based, as with Ryo-Ohki.

Avatar You are the earthly incarnation of a powerful celestial being, and gain powers by your association with that entity. However, you may also be asked to perform tasks for that entity. How much is you, and how much is the god? This in some ways parallels many of the Magical Girls, who often get their powers in the same way. Tempest, from the Thieve's World series, is an avatar. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser were avatars, I believe. Possibly Miko from Utsu no Miko and the main character from Momo Iro Sabbath fit this profile. And remember, 'alf a tar is better than none!

Bishonen This is not simply an anime/manga thing, but specifically a shoujo (girl's) anime/manga thing. A Bishonen character is an extremely beautiful male character, so much so that at times they don't look male at all. These characters are usually effeminate, and in the shoujo comics that this stereotype comes from they are usually involved intimately with other bishonen characters. In more mainstream anime and manga, bishonen characters appear who are not involved with other males. In any case, the idea here is that your character is male but more beautiful-looking than many of the females around him. (Submitted by Blackbird).

Clone You are a genetic copy of another human and therefore may not be considered fully human. Perhaps you are a clone of another character? There are any number of examples of this in western science fiction; one excellent place to start is John Varley's Ophiuchi Hotline.

Crossdresser This is not something that necessarily conveys special powers to your character, but there are many characters in anime and manga who dress as the opposite sex. From Ukyo Kunoji of Ranma 1/2 and Ryuunosuke Fujinami of Ursei Yatsura are girls who dress and act like boys (or used to, in Ukyo's case). Tsubasa Kurenai and Konatsu of Ranma 1/2 are two boys who dress and act like girls. Kisaragi Shun from Here Is Greenwood and Noel (Noeru) Minamino from Mint no Bokura (we are mint) are two more examples of guys dressing as girls, to say nothing of Makato Musahara in the original El Hazard OAV series.

Cursed In Futaba Kun Change, Futaba Shimeru inherits a family curse that causes him (and his father, and his sister) to change sex whenever he becomes aroused. Ranma Saotome of Ranma 1/2 also changes sex, but the trigger is a splash of cold water. Many others in Ranma 1/2 have visited the training grounds of Jushenkyo and fallen into one of the cursed springs, and now are cursed to transform into someone or something else (pig, duck, panda, kitten, etc.) when doused with cold water. Hot water will reverse the transformation until the next time. Or perhaps you want to play someone cursed to transform into another creature when the time is right, but always during a full moon. I don't have any anime examples of were curses at hand, but have plenty from western literature/media. Any other curse you can think of is a possibility; even Yakumo's "sign of the void" (3x3 Eyes) is something of a curse.

Delusions of Special Powers You have no special powers but you THINK you do or at least you're convinced you can develop them through hard work and effort or accomplish great things through sheer force of will and stupidity. See: Strikeman in You're Under Arrest or "Voodoo Spike" Hikaru in Ranma 1/2.

Demon In western literature demons and devils are generally evil creatures from places like hell who prey on humans and have no redeeming qualities. Even fallen angels are generally not nice. But the Japanese concept of an oni (demon)refers more to a malicious spirit than an agent of evil. Thus, there are many examples of ždemonsž who are not necessarily evil people. Zenki is a sort of demon-warrior spirit who is called in to battle far more malignant entities. In 3x3 (Sazan) Eyes, Pai is descended from a race of creatures who are, in essence, demonic, and although she herself is not really evil, some of her relatives are or were (Kaiyan Wang, the "Demon Eye-King"). Pai and her kind have three eyes and some phenomenal powers. In Ursei Yatsura Lum, Tenten, and all their relatives are presented as oni, although in their case oni are simply misunderstood aliens from another planet, who only want to conquer earth (no hard feelings). These oni have two small spiral horns, the ability to fly, breath fire, and/or shock electrically.
Ryoko in Tenchi Muyou is originally presented as a demon, but later turns out to be an artificial construct (android) alien. She flies and controls plasma-like energy, firing bolts or creating a plasma sword. Likewise, the Demoness Ifurita from El Hazard is really just an android; her demoness tag has nothing to do with her coming from a place like hell and everything to do with her penchant for destroying whole cities. She also flies and has some phenomenal destructive powers which reside in her key.

Demon Hunter Zenki is not only a demon, his is, in essence, a demon hunter. Pai is not necessarily a demon-hunter, but winds up facing down a lot of nasty otherworldly monster types anyway. However, Yohko, of Devil Hunter Yohko, definitely is a demon hunter -- a 108th generation demon hunter, to be specific, and her cousin is also a demon hunter in training. Likewise, the characters of Vampire Hunter D, Ogre Slayer, and even (to a certain extent) Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Chronicles go about the business of hunting and killing demonic creatures. Of course, these are more serious shows than Devil Hunter Yohko, who, after all, has a magical-girl style transformation sequence, but they are all examples of a type of character you can play. Some of these characters have dark pasts, but others (like Yohko) simply inherited powers, talent, and position.

Dimensional Being Many shows deal with characters travelling to different dimensions. Although this usually involves characters from our place and time travelling somewhere else, the process is easily reversed. Several characters from Ursei Yatsura fall into this category, as do a lot of the characters in El Hazard. Ai of Video Girl Ai is technically from another dimension, and dimensional travel is also at work in Lamune & 40 and KO Century Beast (if I remember correctly). Also Super-Dimension Orgus, and that VIZ comic from years ago also apply. Even Alice In Wonderland can work here. Basically, your character comes from somewhere/when else, another dimension where things work a little differently, and she may have special powers because of that. Alternately, your character may be a different version of someone who exists in this dimension. Let your imagination run wild -- many things are possible.

Djini I have no obvious examples in anime or manga to cite, but you might consider playing a genie, or djinn. The genie in Aladdin and Genie from I Dream of Genie should give you two examples of what you can do.
Marcus "Shaolin Racoon" (Tanuki) West points out that most (he says all, without exception) Djinn or genie are evil. This is probably the case in all legends and mythology, -- after all, even in modern literature most djinn are wish-givers who take every opportunity to twist your wishes around -- but naturally this does not have to be true in your campaign. There are examples in fantasy fiction, in movies and television, and animation (Disney at the very least) where Djinn are as capable of good as any human. This is anime, after all, so go for it!

Full Cyborg Super Cat Girl Nuku Nuku, Battle Angel Alita (Gally if you prefer), Robocop, and even Robotman of the DC comic Doom Patrol all have one thing in common: a completely artificial body operated by an organic brain. They are robots in all but name, and, as with many of the characters in Battle Angel Alita, it's possible to not even look humanoid. You might choose to play this sort of character, which has some distinct advantages over flesh-and-blood humanoids. Major Kusanagi in Ghost In The Shell is a prime example of this type of a character.

Gadgeteer This is very similar to Super Intelligent, but perhaps not quite the same so I decided to add it in too. Your character is constantly building and modifying scientific gadgets, reprogramming computers, and tinkering with their vehicle. It helps to be very intelligent, of course, but a gadgeteer does not necessarily have to be a genius like Washu, but merely someone with a knack for tinkering and the stubborness to keep at it until you figure it out. The brother in Moldiver comes to mind...

Gadget-Equipped As opposed to being rich, a genius, or part of an elite force, perhaps, for whatever reason, you have access to a lot of neat gadgets, the sort of tools and tricks that Batman, James Bond, and B-Ko routinely produce. How you get a hold of them without making them yourself, buying them, or getting them from the government agency that you don't work for, is the real question.

Ghost Your character might be a ghost, someone who has died and come back to haunt a person or place, or just to hang around. Again, there are a lot of examples of this in western literature and media, as well as anime and manga. Okinu-chan (Ghost Sweeper Mikami) is a ghost.

Ghost Buster In the seventies we had Scooby-Doo and his band of lame almost-but-not-quite hippies debunking one ghost story after another. This was a far cry from the movie Ghost Busters, in which the ghosts were real and the protagonists had the means to battle them. This sort of premise is picked up in anime shows like Ghost Sweeper Mikami and Phantom Quest Corps. Mikami has actual otherworldly entities working for her, while Miss Ayeka of the Phantom Quest Corps. hires various psychics and spiritualists on a case-by-case basis, selecting from her database of psychic temps. In addition there's Silent Mobius, in which the ghost/demon hunters are part of a cool government agency with a stupid name (AMP, Attacked Mystical Police). Your character might hunt ghosts as a hobby, work for a private agency like the Phantom Quest Corps, work for a public agency like the AMP, or run her own agency. As a practicing ghost/demon hunter you work for pay and use your skills, wits, and arcane knowledge to track down evil spirits and trap or banish them. You may have special scientific or occult devices to aid you, or even ghosts or otherworldly allies.

belldandy God/Goddess Beldandy, Urd, Skuld, Peorth, and several other characters from the series Ah! My Goddess fall into this category. In the case of Beldandy and her sisters, they are what you might term lesser or limited goddesses, operating on the authority of and answerable to the Almighty, with licenses that limit their powers and may be suspended or revoked for infractions. On the other hand, Pai and some of the other characters in 3x3 Eyes can be viewed as gods and goddesses, immortal old ones with special powers whom humankind once worshipped. If you play the former, then you may be called upon to do things that you donžt necessarily want to do (answerable to a higher power). If you play the latter, then your powers are inherent, not granted by any higher power, and you are not directly beholden to the Almighty, although it's to be understood that even at the height of your power you were never a match for him. Your power is partially based on the number of worshippers you have at a given time, and the 20th century hasn't been kind to you. In fact, you may have only one true follower left... Other examples include Utsu no Miko (Miko of the Heavens) and several characters from the Sandman comic. See also the book Small Gods by Terry Pratchett for inspiration.

Hardsuited The main characters of Bubblegum Crisis are perfect examples of normal people who wear a complete suit of high-tech body armor for battle, gaining strength, speed, flying ability and range attacks in addition to the obvious protection of the armor. Less obvious is B-Ko's battlesuit, which is so high-tech that it manages to be a bikini and full body armor at the same time. In any case, you have a first-class battlesuit and know how to use it. This may be combined with any of the above, although most likely it is that you are part of some special forces unit, hardsuit division. See also a multitude of western superheros (Iron Man, Steel, X-O Manowar, Box and Guardian of Alpha Flight, etc. ad nauseam).

High School Club This one's the idea of my weird friend Tom Hayes. You play not a single character, but an entire club dedicated to a single goal, something he calls the "Otaku Hive Mind". This would be similar to the Chemistry Club seen once or twice in Ranma 1/2, who are devotees of Akane, or perhaps even more like the Lum Appreciation Society (Ursei Yatsura), although the members of that group tend to have a bit more personality. The members of your club may be represented by one or even a half bonk point each (these are, basically, geeks and nerds, not even your average "normal" character) and thus, as you take damage, member of your club are being knocked out. This is definitely the sort of thing that a gamemaster and a player need to see eye-to-eye on before you launch into it, but Tom pulls it off well.

Human Agent You are a human who has been sent back to earth from heaven for a specific reason. You are not an angel, God/Goddess, or an avatar, but you still possess special skills and have a task or tasks to perform for the almighty. Your second life here on earth is dependant on you accomplishing these goals or tasks. Some examples of this occur in western movies..

idol stars Idol Star Idol stars are a mostly Japanese phenomenom, cute pop music singer worship taken to the extreme. The stars are most often female, young, and extremely cute or good-looking. Whether they can do anything besides look cute and sing is usually not an issue. They always have thousands (or hundreds of thousands, even millions) of adoring fans who buy all kinds of products related to their favorite idol star, go to the shows, scream a lot, etc. Ayumi Fujimura and Marimo Himenogi of Twinkle Twinkle Idol Star are prime examples of the super-cute, super-handsome singer/media star. At least one male Idol Star shows up in Kimagure Orange Road, not to mention Madoka Aykawa herself, who flirts with stardom. Key the Metal Idol is an Idol Star as well as an android..

Immortal Ayeka, Sasami, and the others in Tenchi Muyou who are of Juraian birth are, to all appearances, and for all practical purposes, immortal. Certainly Washu and others from the Galactic Academy seem immortal, as does Ryoko. In Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Chronicles we have a different type of immortality, which stems from the curse of the mermaid flesh. Nevertheless, Yuta and Mana are immortals, similar to the characters in the movie and tv series The Highlander, able to withstand any attack except having their head cut off, but with the added bonus that they don't have to go around killing other immortals off all the time. There are many other examples, including several of the characters in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and a science fiction book by Mack Reynolds and Dean Ing that takes a more realistic approach to the concept... but basically, for whatever reason, your character doesn't die..

Intelligent Animal For those who want to play Ryo-Ohki (Tenchi Muyou), Jiji (Kiki's Delivery Service) or a much more intelligent Jingaro (Kimagure Orange Road), we have the animal who in outward appearance is no different from any non-intelligent animal of the same type, but is blessed with great intelligence and possibly special powers into the bargain. If you are from earth, you may be descended from a special race of intelligent animals, or it may be an accident (scientific, magical, or mutation). If you are from somewhere else, then perhaps in the planet/universe/dimension you are from, intelligent animals are not at all unusual. The Totoro creatures might also fit under this heading..

Lecherous/Hentai This is a standard in anime, almost always a male who is sex-obsessed. Without delving into actual hentai (perverted) anime or manga, our prime example is most likely Ataru Moroboshi from Ursei Yatsursa (Lum). This is a boy who chases girls at every opportunity, who never misses a chance to lay his hands on their rear or breasts, who thinks of nothing but women. Happosai from Ranma 1/2 is another good example of a hentai character. Half the characters from Momo Iro (Pink) Sabbath qualify, but with that manga you're probably crossing over into the hentai genre itself, or at least skirting it. For an example of a (mostly) female hentai character, I refer you to Futana of Futaba-kun Change. She is one twisted person.
Suggested by Rob Pool.

Living Video Girl This is an unusual type of character based on Video Girl Ai, in which a "Video Girl" (something really only found in Japan) steps out of the television screen and comes to life. Some examples of this sort of thing, of movie or television characters coming to life, can also be found in western movies and television, not the least of which are characters in virtual worlds who question their existence or try to escape (Star Trek's Holodecks are famous for this sort of thing). Perhaps your character is this sort of person... someone with, let's face it, an even more tenuous hold on their existence, and with more questions about identity and soul, than even a self-aware robot..

racoon Living Toy or Inanimate Object For no reason that I can discern, some anime and manga series have as characters inanimate objects. As an example, in Momo Iru Sabbath (Pink Sabbath) we have a raccoon statue and a snowman who are regular characters. Perhaps you want to play a living teddy bear or a persistent, obnoxious, self-aware toaster, or you just want to be Buzz Lightyear. With the gamemaster's approval, anything is possible, although there are obviously certain limitations..

Magical Girl This is a very pervasive genre in Japan, of which Sailor Moon, Pretty Sammy, and Magical Knight Rayerth are all prime examples. In short, you have been chosen by some divine or celestial entity as an emissary of good, and under the right circumstances you may invoke a transformation sequence which will transform you into your alter ego, a magical girl with special powers. You may receive limited divine guidance, you may have an intermediary agent for day-to-day guidance, or a combination of both or neither. Bear in mind that magical boys are almost nonexistent, but some of the characters in Sailor Moon (the manga version, at least) are males who transforms into -- yes -- magical girls. Whether actual magical boys are possible is entirely up to the gamemaster and player..

Martial Artist As they say, the path of a true martial artist is fraught with danger. You're an expert in some form of martial arts. You're Tatewaki Kuno, who's studied kendo until you can cut stone with your wooden sword, or Ranma Saotome, who's an expert at unarmed combat, or Shampoo, Akane, Ryoga, Ukyo, Mousse, or just about any character from Ranma 1/2, all of whom have their own specialties, and several of whom have had training from a master such as Happosai and Cologne. Outside of the Ranma 1/2 arena there are samurai like Miyamoto Usagi (a serious character, even if he is a rabbit), ninjas, and other practitioners of martial arts. Tenchi of Tenchi Muyou studies Jurian sword techniques under his grandfather. Professional Wresting fits in here too... Metal Fighter Miku is an example, and Futaba and many of the other characters in Futaba Kun Change are pro-style wrestlers. Sukeban Deka is an example of super martial-arts school bullies. Characters who seem normal, like Madoka Ayukawa in Kimagure Orange Road, Li Ling-Ling in 3x3 Eyes, or that guy in Kowa Wa Greenwood occasionally demonstrate formidable fighting prowess. Martial Arts refers to all forms of combat, armed or unarmed, and if you want to be an expert fencer or sumo wrestler, so be it. In the world of anime, a talented martial artist can hold his own against just about anyone..
Marcus "Shaolin Racoon" (Tanuki) West thought a few definitions would be in order here, so I'm passing his along for you!
DO: This usually translates as "The Way" or "The Path" of certain things and usually emphasizes teacher and student relationship. A prime example of DO is Aikido: "The Way of peace and love".
Jutsu: This translates as "The Art" here the martial artist trains himself for battle instead of developing a relationship with his/her teacher, the student thinks of the teacher as just that: a teacher nothing more nothing less. An example of Jutsu is Kenjutsu: "The Art of the Sword" which later spawned Kendo, "The Way of the sword".
Kung-Fu: Our definition (our meaning the dojo or temple since its built to look like a Shaolin temple) means "hard work" and where I train it definitely means just that!
Wushu implies all martial arts but its translation means "the art of no fighting" and its also an exercise technique used by the Shaolin later used as a martial art.
If you really want to get into martial arts anime role-playing you should probably head straight for Ewen "Blackbird" Cluney's online anime rpg Thrash, found at his The Official Thrash RPG Page. It's a martial arts-intensive anime rpg.

Mascot Usually a talking animal or cute kid, this is not quite the same as playing an animal. Here the overriding concern is that you're phenomenally cute and don't otherwise have a lot of reason for hanging around. Occasionally you may be of some use to the other players (purely by accident, of course). Ryo-Ohki of Tenchi Muyou is an example, although of course she transforms into a ship (which is an incredibly useful trick don't you think?). Annie of Robotech, Luna and Artemis of Sailor Moon, and Euly(sp?) of Ronin Warriors are other examples. (Submitted by Blackbird).

eva pilots Mecha Pilot Although there are about a bazillion examples of this in anime and manga, perhaps the best examples of how mecha might be adapted to a less-than-serious campaign come from Battle Skipper, Project A-Ko, Super Cat Girl Nuku-Nuku, and, of course, Ben Dunn's Ninja High School. Mecha show up in Tenchi Muyou once in a great while too. Of course, my personal favorite anime shows that involve mecha are Five Star Stories and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Mutant You are blessed with special powers due to a fluke of birth. No, you can not call yourself an X-man.
Just kidding! I think you could run a really fun TFOS campaign based on the X-Men model. Just think: Your players attend Professor Xavier's special school, the Prof is rather sadistic, and every morning (at the begining of every game) the players get run through his latest fiendish version of the danger room, all in the name of "training". As a GM you could adapt traps from all of the Grimtooth's Traps books for this purpose -- after all, your players will never actually DIE, just get bonked to kingdom come. I think that would be a really fun routine for a less-than-fully-serious superhero-styled TFOS campaign!

Normal You really are a normal human being, god help you. What are you doing surrounded by all of these insane weirdos? Of course, it's kind of fun to sit back and watch... See Nabiki and Kasumi of Ranma 1/2, Hikaru in Kimagure Orange Road, or various schoolmates in any of the above shows... .

Partial Cyborg You are part-machine and part-organic. You are a human or humanoid with artificial limbs or parts, as with Darth Vader in Star Wars, the Borg in Star Trek, the bionic man and woman, or half the characters in Battle Angel Alita. Even Princess Kushana of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind (anime version) has a cyborged arm, as does Ross Sylbus of Armitage. Obviously, having some cyborged parts can give you advantages over normal humans..

Priest/Priestess Sakura and Cherry (Ursei Yatsura) are a Shinto Priestess and a Buddhist Priest, and each has magical abilities based on their respective faiths. Although we're never quite sure what the Priestesses of Mt. Muldoon are Priestesses of, Shayla-Shayla, Miz Mishtal, and Afura Mann have special powers tied to their artifacts and to the elements of fire, water and air. You might make your character a priest or priestess with some magical abilities..

Prince/Princess Lum, Tenten, and Ranchan of Ursei Yatsura are royalty, as are Ayeka, Sasami, and Tenchi of Tenchi Muyou. In some cases being of royal or noble blood can give you special powers or access to unique gadgets. At the very least, it gives you a special status that others lack, although in an anime universe, princesses arenžt altogether rare. In any case, your character may be of royal blood, but you will probably want to combine this with something else... a prince who is a martial artist, or who is an alien with special powers, or who, at the very least, is very rich.

Psychic You are gifted with psychic powers, perhaps as an accident of birth, or perhaps it runs in your family. See: Kimagure Orange Road, Mai the Psychic Girl.

Reincarnated Being You are someone who has been reincarnated, and you remember your previous life or learn of it in some manner. Who you were in your past life will determine how useful your condition is. The anime/manga series Please Save My Earth deals with several young people who discover that they are the reincarnated spirits of aliens who once lived on the moon. Some of them have special powers or abilities that have been passed on from their past lives. I Am A Crow is a manga series in which a boyžs grandfather is reincarnated as a young girl who then becomes the boyžs friend.

Rich Mendou of Ursei Yatsura has no special powers, but he's rich beyond the dreams of mortal men. He has a private army, helicopters, lear jets, and assault tanks at his command. Anything he wants, he can get. Likewise, the villainess in Super Cat-Girl Nuku Nuku is head of a corporation so vast and powerful that she can have built whatever she wants. B-Ko in Project A-Ko would be nowhere without her fatheržs vast wealth to support her penchant for building and destroying mecha, and the villain in Moldiver could not equip and employ his Machine Gals without his vast wealth to draw on..

Scientific Accident This usually is an explanation for how the hulk or the fantastic four or some other superhero got their powers (bitten by a radioactive june bug). In any case, your character may have special powers, abilities, or unusual looks because of the mysteries of science. If you have someone like Washu around, scientific accidents are a strong possibility.

Space Cop Perhaps the best example of this is Mihoshi and her partner Kiyone of Tenchi Muyou, although Space Fraulin Yuna kind of fits this niche as well. Your character is a representative of some interstellar or intergalactic policing agency, and has come to earth as part of his or her job/mission. The details can be worked out between you and the gamemaster, but as part of an extraterrestrial police agency you probably have superior weapons, communication and surveillance devices, and other such gadgets.

Special Forces You are part of an elite military or police unit and have access to equipment that normal people never see. If you are from somewhere besides earth, you may be a member of the Galactic Police. If you are from another dimension, universe, or time, you may be part of the Dimension Police or the Time Police. In any case, you got some neat gadgets, but cannot operate a battlesuit or mech.

Super Intelligent You are a certified genius and can built practically anything given the time and money. You construct gadgets constantly. Washu, from Tenchi Muyou, is a prime example, as is B-Ko from Project A-Ko, or the father character in All-Purpous Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku.

Superstrong You are blessed with incredible physical prowess. A-Ko from project A-Ko is a prime example, as are Benten from Ursei Yatsura and Maris the Chojo, alias Supergal. In all three cases, the powers are inherited, a part of having alien blood or alien parents. On the other hand, Shinobu, from Ursei Yatsura, seems to be just naturally strong, especially when she's angry. Mari from Project A-Ko is quite strong herself, and there is Yuna's friend " " from Galaxy Fraulin Yuna, who not only exhibits massive strength but also the ability to eat constantly without gaining weight.

Time Traveller The main character in Fire Tripper has the ability to travel through time, albeit randomly. For game purposes you would have to be someone who has travelled from the past or the future to the present, or else you would have to take all of the other characters on your journey through time with you. Perhaps your character has built or come into possession of a time machine?

Vampire Vampire Princess Miyu comes immediately to mind, although I am sure there are other examples to be found, especially in western literature and media. For game purposes a Vampire would be weaker in daylight and stronger by the light of the moon and stars, but would not melt away or turn into a pile of dust on contact with light.

kagome Witch Kiki of Kiki's Delivery Service is the most obvious example of the witch in anime, but there are also the characters in Magical Twilight, as well as the trio of witches in the manga series Momo Iro Sabbath (Pink/Peach Sabbath). Even the goddess Urd from Ah! My Goddess has a very witch-like approach to magic. Really, these all borrow the trappings and stereotypes of western culture witches, and you could just as easily borrow ideas from Bewitched, Sabrina the Teen-Aged Witch, The Witches Of Eastwick, or any number of movies/tv shows/books/comics that touch on the subject. My personal favorite is Terry Pratchett and his Disc World books, a series of goofy fantasy novels that are some of the funniest books in the English language, and which usually deal with witches, magicians, or the incarnation of death. In any case, your character is a witch, most likely a young girl, with a gift for magic.
Witch's magic is usually earthier than Wizard's magic, and deals more with potions and pills and nasty ingredients, although the differences arenžt all that great -- much of it is semantics. Wizards incite cantations, Witches sing songs. Traditionally male witches are referred to as warlocks, but in many fantasy settings (Pratchett's Discworld series, Kiki's) there is no such thing. Not to offend any actual pagans, but throughout western tradition and popular media, witches are almost always female. It's up to the gamemaster whether male witches (ie warlocks) exist, or whether it's a brand of magic for women only. Perhaps, as with the lone male member of Sailor Moon's group of super soldiers, a male witch becomes female when he practices magic.

Wizard Wizards are typically male, the magical counterpart to Witches. Perhaps the best examples of this genre come from fantasy settings; it's a given that a modern practitioner of magic is not a wizard, but a magician. Nevertheless, having a character who is a Wizard is a very workable concept. Wizards are typically more scholarly-seeming than Witches, more interested in the mechanics of magic itself, and their magic is more often based in runes and incantations and mathematical formulas.

Zombie This may not sound like an enticing option for a player character, but think of Yakumo Fujii in 3x3 Eyes, who bears the sign of the void, is tied, body and soul, to Pai, and who can take all kinds of punishment without being killed. Essentially, a zombie may not mean a rotting corpse, as it often does in western literature; it may only mean a person who does not have a soul, or whose soul is held by another. In Yakumo's case, his soul and Paižs soul are essentially one and the same.

Other possibilities What you can become is not limited to the above list of possibilities; I'm just trying to demonstrate as many possibilities as I can imagine or glean from media and literature. The only things that limit what you can or can't become is your own imagination, and the ruling of the Gamemaster.
If you think of any glaring omissions on my part, or you just want to correct me on some minor point ("What do you mean, 'that guy in Kowa Wa Greenwood'? Don't you know your anime?") then let me know, and I'll update my list!

So write me already!

© 1998
Akane images and character copyright © 1998 Rumiko Takahashi. Other characters also copyrighted, naturally.

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