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The sweet and the sulky: top five shy guys in anime

In our last list, we saved the spaces for the reserved girls, so this time I wanted to celebrate our fave kuudere and dandere guys. They may come across churlish, aloof or outright furious, but we know all they need is a little time and care, and they will show you their loving and sweetly courageous hearts. However, you may need to search for the tiniest of signs; some protective façades, for good reason, are deeper and darker than others.

5. Kyo Sohma – Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket - Kyo

We’re cat lovers here, so of course we have to put a word in for Lucky Kyo. He has all the traits that make cats such adorable enigmas, from being drawn to high places and startled by sudden movement or noise, to hating having anything too tight around his neck. But what we also know about cats is that despite seeming detached at times, they have a warm, serenely devoted place in their hearts for the people who care for them. It’s no different for Kyo. He just needs extra patience and understanding, because cruelty in his past has left him fragile underneath his poised, easily-agitated front.

4. Bell Cranel – Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Danmachi - Bell.png

Although to the untrained eye he would appear fearless in the heat of battle, we know Bell Cranel better than to presume his courage comes from self-confidence. The only adventurer in the goddess Hestia’s Familia, he relies on coming home to her support in victory and in failure, easily embarrassed or discouraged when quests or conversations don’t go to plan. Starting off in the game as a ruse to pick up girls, his white hair and red eyes betray his soft and timid soul. But we love him because he pushes himself to overcome his fears, to make Hestia proud, or whenever his friends need help.

3. Guts – Berserk

Berserk - Guts.jpg

Guts, born from blood, could never find his way clear of this dark omen throughout his childhood. In time he falls into accepting that death will always be part of him, but in spite of his oath that he’d rather fight for his life than live it, when he does walk with comrades they become the light on his path. His vice is being unwilling to bare his heart, whether for the sake of his own life or others, stubborn to the last that he will not bow to his loneliness. But we see through to his shattered soul, and mourn it for him.

2. Yuki Sanada– tsuritama

tsuritama - Yuki

Yuki suffers from social anxiety, to the point where people often get the false impression that he’s furious with them. This isn’t helped by the trademark shocked and appalled face he pulls when his fears take over. To be specific, this face.

tsuritama - Yuki

In situations that make him uneasy, he imagines himself surrounded by rising water, the illusion of protection in entrapment. But fishing with his equally misfit friends Natsuki and Haru pulls him onto solid ground, teaching him to understand and accept his emotions. When he’s with them, he’s calmed by the ritual of casting the line, and through these meditations he learns to release his courage.

 1. Ciel Phantomhive – Black Butler

Black Butler - Ciel.jpg

About as cold as they come, Ciel has had to take on his frozen veneer out of necessity – to survive, and to take over his family’s duty as guardian against the supernatural’s evil forces for Queen and country. At times we catch a glimpse of the life he had when he was free to be a child, and that one untainted sapphire blue eye captures the duality of his tragedy. On the one side, there’s the self-important, selfish drive of the boy with corruption forced upon him. On the other there’s the noble affection awoken in him by taking charge of the household, and responsibility for the house’s staff who became his friends and confidantes.


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