The “Childish One”, Cheng Xiaoshi of Link Click

It can be hard to write a goofy character who still has depth. Cheng Xiaoshi of Link Click is one such character, but just what makes him so good? You could bring up his funny antics, for sure, or you could mention the cute faces he makes. We, however, would like to point out his kindness, as well as how thoroughly he considers others. Cheng Xiaoshi is an interesting character study that we’d love to introduce you to!

Contains Spoilers!

A Compassionate Heart

“Not seeing hope doesn’t mean there is no hope.”

Cheng Xiaoshi may seem a bit like a brainless oaf at first glance, but when you take a closer look, you might notice just how closely he looks at others. In episode one, he very quickly starts to empathize with a woman named Emma, who he only knows from “jumping” into her body through a photo. He’s sad about the misery that is her daily life and seeks to make it better, despite potential consequences. Cheng Xiaoshi simply can’t stand to see someone suffer, not if he can make it better. Similarly, he looks out for his partner in Time Photo Studio, Lu Guang. If the other man seems to be struggling with something, no matter what it is, Cheng Xiaoshi is eager to make it better somehow - usually by goofing around with his friend!

Loveable Goofball

Speaking of goofing around, let’s talk about how funny Cheng Xiaoshi can be! He’s extremely in touch with his feelings and not all afraid of expressing them — this can lead to some hilarious reactions. When fed ten bowls of noodles while within a photo, he groans and complains to Lu Guang in a cute whine that he’ll never eat noodles again…only to ask for one more bowl in the next photo! Even better, to get into that next photo, he cuddles up against his partner-in-crime (so to speak) and teases him until he lifts a hand to stop Cheng Xiaoshi. This gives the time traveler the perfect opportunity to high-five his friend — his main way into a photo! Just the face he makes before he does it is well worth the viewing time!

Depths of Emotion

There’s almost nothing Cheng Xiaoshi won’t do for his friends, Lu Guang and Qiao Ling. As much as he jokes about his dislike of them — particularly his landlady, Qiao Ling —, it’s obvious by the end of the season that he’ll protect them with all of his might. When Qiao Ling is overtaken by a mysterious other, nearly killing herself at their whim, Cheng Xiaoshi fights the unknown entity head-on. This results in an incredible fight scene that is only barely won by Cheng Xiaoshi and a cliffhanger!

Final Thoughts

As mentioned in the beginning, writing a complete character is difficult. Viewers may not always relate to what they see, and as such, it’s very important that writers work to create a complete image of a person. This is true in any storytelling medium — including anime.

Cheng Xiaoshi is a wonderful example of this: he’s not just a classic “funny man”, he’s a character with intense emotional pain and a desire to save others. We, at least, can relate to that. What about you? Do you have a character who makes you feel seen? Leave a comment below and tell us about it (and make sure you’re ready for Link Click Season 2!)!

by Link King