Welcome to the Anime Walk of Fame, a series of retrospectives on the many characters of the anime world. You'll see all your favorites along with a few that deserve more than their reputations give.

So sit back relax and enjoy the show.

Hikaru is an Otaku Done Right

It may surprise you that the concept of Otaku is not as well respected in Japan as you might think, especially in the 90s.

Hikaru is an aestavalis pilot recruited alongside Ryoko and Izumi onboard the Nadesico, she's an avid otaku of in-series anime Gekiganger, more so than Akito and Gai, doing everything from shipping characters, drawing doujinshi and building dioramas and models. She's portrayed as an extrovert which fits in well with the straight talking Ryoko and the more sarcastic dry whitted Izumi.
But like everyone on board the Nadesico, it's not so clear cut as she has a deeper back story, while spending time building models with Seiya the resident head engineer, she turns him down when the subject of relationships is brought up, an unresolved history between her and her ex-boyfriend being the cause, it's never made clear what those issues are but the lack of romantic interest in anyone implies that she was hurt emotionally and hasn't gotten over it.
It was often too easy to say that all Otaku are society's rejects back in the day, Japan is no different to the west in that regard, but Hikaru is portrayed in a way that makes her likeable and sympathetic.

Moonbay Transporter of the Wasteland

To jump start this feature for a bit, we'll be looking at underrated characters either a side character that doesn't get much attention or from any series that's slept on starting with Moonbay.

Moonbay is a transporter, a lifestyle she's happy with singing while travelling the wasteland in her Gustav, a heavily armoured Zoid strictly made for transporting large cargo and larger Zoids making her a trucker by trade.
She would later get involved with Van's mission to bring peace to the world as team mechanic and transporter, it also helps that she already knows Irvine but always had one eye aimed at returning to her trucking after peace was made but found herself reuniting with Van and Co after the time skip where she would later be the pilot of the Ultrasaur, one of the most powerful Zoids ever constructed to stop the return of Deathsaur.
This is a great example of how best to utilize supporting characters and giving them their own motivations, Moonbay is always an upbeat happy character living her best life, a point she makes when reuniting with a rich former lover, turning down a marriage proposal because she's married to her job and because said lover has what she dubs horrible taste in music.
That's Moonbay, a free spirit who is living her best life, she's respected by all who know her and is an important character who proves pivotal to ending the conflict, Western media can learn alot from this woman.

How Old is Misty Supposed to be?

The question of age plagues anime characters in all aspects and Pokemon is a curious case with Ash being eternally ten years old but how old are his companions, more specifically Misty.

In most cases, Misty is simply the same age as Ash and most information sites agree with that theory.
But the Electric Tale of Pikachu makes the tomboy mermaid 13 years old which is much more accurate.
But I'm willing to bet that Misty is actually 12 years old and I have a few things to back that up.
First is her body type, I'd hardly call it childish but wouldn't call it teen either.
Second is her maturity, yes you can have a mature ten year old but Misty does drop subtle hints that she knows about certain adult things, think back to the episode Holy Matrimony and Jessebelle's dungeon with the so called "weird gym equipment", blink and you'll miss it, Misty blushes witnessing what Jessebelle is trying to do to James.
It's obvious that Misty knows what's going on even if the dub hides it, she has three older sisters with Daisy being a legal adult, one of them has done the dirty.
The third one is how close she has been with Tracy who is an obvious teenager with an implied romantic link.
Finally Misty's video game counterpart would suggest that my age estimate is pretty spot on as well especially in Masters Ex where she is noticeably older than player protagonist Leaf.
No matter how much you say it, Misty looks too old for ten years old, I can believe May, Serena and Dawn are ten, but not Misty.

Saki - The Mother of All Female Protagonists

For a while now I've been looking for the first female protagonist to shake the world of anime, and I think Saki may be it.

Some people reading this will say, what about Lady Oscar of Rose of Versailles? Sapphire of Princess Knight? Sazae-San? And Fujiko Mine?
Oscar and Sapphire both had to pretend to be men, Sazae-San while the main character is not internationally recognised unless someone wants to point out the World Record for longest animated series whenever someone thinks its the Simpsons and the fact that she's a housewife not an action heroine.
Fujiko Mine was originally designed to be multiple women and she's not the lead in Lupin the 3rd, only a foil.
The first real female protagonist in anime and Manga, not forced into a traditional role, not forced to hide the fact that they are female and not as a major secondary character is Saki Asamiya, debuted in 1975, a delinquent school girl turned undercover cop.
While the anime didn't come out until 1991, the Sukeban franchise existed in manga and live action for much longer, it served as a big game changer that paved way for the likes of Dirty Pair, Bubblegum Crisis and Project A-Ko, the rest is history as each generation has a new female protagonist to love.
Characters like Makoto Kino, Utena, A-Ko, Ryuko Matoi, pretty much any bad ass female character to ever wear the Sailor Fuku, they all owe a thanks to Saki Asamiya, the character who changed the anime landscape forever.

I Feel Sorry For Barthez Battalion

I used to hate this team for replacing the Majestics but now, I kinda feel sorry for them.

The Barthez Battalion is introduced as a no nonsense well trained operation under the command of coach Barthez, however behind the scenes, it's anything but happy.
Barthez forces them to cheat, has no problem assaulting them and threatens numerous times to disown them if they don't follow commands, the team are even forced to take falls and injuries to show up other teams which Rick fell fall easily against Claude.
The team members know they are doing wrong but the alternative is not competing in the sport at all.
Miguel and human Silver the Hedgehog Claude know this as well as Mathilda who is too scared to speak up, I assume Aaron is exactly the same.
This mirrors alot of sports teams, particularly in the Olympics where aggressive coaching has left young athletes afraid to say anything through fear of being blacklisted and kicked out, I won't name any countries but in some nations, this type of thing is considered normal, I have to commend Beyblade for having the guts to show this, one thing that the dub doesn't show you is the amount of slapping that goes on and most of it is not comedic, really think about that.